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California Supreme Court Upholds Local Wireless Facility Rules, But the Debate Isn’t Over

In the age of 4G LTE and the rise of 5G wireless technology, many local governments in California find themselves tasked with deciding how to regulate telecommunications facilities within their streets, often times at the expense of community aesthetics. The desire to preserve local control frequently results in a debate with telecommunications carriers about the boundaries of local authority and the scope of Public Utilities Code sections 7901 and 7901.1. On April 4, the California Supreme Court addressed the debate with a ruling in favor of local authority. In T-Mobile West LLC v. City and County of San Francisco, the Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the First District Court of Appeal and held that a local ordinance conditioning wireless facilities permits to locate in the public right-of-way on aesthetic review was not preempted by Section 7901 and did not violate Section 7901.1.

Meyers Nave Associate Claire Lai published an article in the Daily Journal that explains the T-Mobile case and the impact of its ruling on local governments and telecommunication services and equipment providers.

Please click here to read the article.