June 6 - Telecommunications
Understanding the FCC's 2014 Order Implementing Section 6409(a)
The webinar covers the FCC's 2014 Wireless Siting Order that preempts state and local approval for many changes to communications towers and antenna sites. In a new update, it will cover the Order’s relation to and conflicts with the FCC’s September 2018 5G/Small Cell Order intended to aid the installation of thousands of small cell sites in rights of way. The webinar should be of interest to many municipalities, because the Order covers all communications towers, including those for AM, FM, TV and cell towers, among others.
Specifically the webinar will describe the many legal and technical issues under the Wireless Siting Order, including describing the types of “Qualifying Changes” for which zoning approval is pre-empted, BUT the Order’s preservation of (i) safety code compliance, (ii) local zoning approval for camouflaged towers and (iii) zoning approval for towers on municipal property. It will go into detail on the differing rules for different types of “Eligible Facilities” such as small cell sites, antennas on buildings, antennas on highways, and on camouflaged sites. It will describe the Order's application process, the 60-day shot clock to act on “Qualifying Changes” and the “deemed granted” remedy.
Also covered will be Federalism and Commerce Clause bases for questioning and challenging the Order and its application, such as due to blurring the lines of political accountability by making local governments take the heat for what in fact is Federal action.
Finally, the webinar will include numerous pictures of cell antennas and towers, to give participants a better sense of its practical impact and the types of problems it can create.
Speakers: John Pestle & Jonathan Kramer
John Pestle is the Chair of the Telecommunications Group at the Varnum law firm and is admitted to practice in Michigan and Arizona. He represents municipalities and private property owners nationwide on cell tower leases and zoning and other telecommunications matters. John is a graduate of Harvard College, Yale Graduate School, and the University of Michigan Law School. Among his many qualifications, John held an FCC license to work on radio, TV and ship radar transmitters and was Chair of the Municipal Lawyers Section of the Michigan Bar. He has received the "Member of the Year" award from the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors, and a "Special Award of Merit" from the Michigan Municipal League for his work representing municipalities on cable and telecommunications matters. For the Varnum web page on cell towers go to www.varnumlaw.com/celltower and for John's cell tower blog go to www.varnumlaw.com/blogs/cellphone-tower/ .
Jonathan Kramer is the principal attorney of Telecom Law Firm in Los Angeles. Since 1984 as a consultant, and 2006 as an attorney, he has advised more than 800 government agencies regarding wireless and broadband matters. Telecom Law Firm works for governments and private landlords around the country crafting reasonably fair wireless site leases. The firm has made a mark detecting and collecting rent-in-arrears for overoccupancy at lease sites, which is a frequent occurrence, and has resulted in 6 to 6-figure collections of back rent and interest, and increased rent going forward. Jonathan co-authored and edited the FCC’s publication for local government officials on radio frequency emissions safety, and at the request of the FCC he is presently revising and expanding it. Kramer holds a bunch of FCC licenses and telecom industry engineering certifications. Jonathan is admitted to practice in California and New Mexico and holds a LL.M degree in Information Technology and Telecommunications Law.