Local Control Debate Pauses Illinois Small Cell Wireless Bill

Senate Bill 1451 was held in the state Senate after local officials voiced concern about the loss of community oversight on the wireless installations.

by Steve Lord, The Beacon-News / November 17, 2017
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(TNS) –– A bill concerning small cell wireless installations that Aurora area communities united to oppose has been held in the state Senate.

SB1451, known as the Small Cell Wireless Bill, was held by State Senate President John Cullerton, although the bill did pass both the House and Senate during the recent veto session.

The hold will give state officials a chance to negotiate with local officials to address what the locals fear would take away local regulation.

More negotiation is what Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin and Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico, along with three county board members and seven mayors of other area communities, asked for when they held a news conference last week to show a united front against the bill.

The local officials said SB1451 would take away local regulation of small cell wireless installations — both in where they are located in local rights-of-way and on existing municipal light and power poles, and how many are allowed in any one place.

Officials agreed they want the resulting technology addressed in the bill — the more powerful 5G network for cell phones. But they said they need to be able to control what goes in local rights-of-way, and where.

This week, Irvin said he "would hope" the bill was held because state officials heard what local officials were saying during events like the press conference Aurora and Naperville held.

"They have to listen to what the cities are saying," Irvin said.

©2017 The Beacon-News (Aurora, Ill.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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