August 27, 2018

New Guide from NLC: How to Plan for Small Cell Wireless Infrastructure

The National League of Cities, the NJLM federal affiliate, has released a new small cell wireless municipal action guide and model ordinance for city leaders. Small cell wireless infrastructure, which is increasingly important for wireless broadband deployment and smart city technology, has traditionally been guided by federal and industry interests, as opposed to local needs.
This guide serves to explain small cell infrastructure and related policy issues in clear terms so that city leaders can thoughtfully plan for small cell deployments in their communities. The guide profiles five U.S. cities – Boston; Lincoln, Neb.; San Jose, Calif.; Raleigh, N.C., and Tempe, Ariz. – and their diverse approaches to small cell wireless infrastructure deployment.
Recommendations for city leaders include:

  1. Gaining a full understanding of the technology and important safety considerations.
  2. Articulating priorities for accommodating this technology.
  3. Creating clear policies for permit review that let both city staff and industry applicants know the expectations.
  4. Developing a template right-of-way access policy/agreement, as well as a city pole attachment agreement.
  5. Thinking through in advance any beneficial items the city could negotiate with industry in exchange for use of the right-of-way – if allowed by state law.
  6. Giving careful consideration to fee structures.

To read the full report, please visit the NCL website at
The New Jersey League of Municipalities also has resources available to you on our web site.

The September 2016 League white paper “Wireless Systems in the Right of Way: What you need to Know”   and handouts from the League webinar “Wireless Siting in the Right Of Way”   

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