For years, wireless service providers have tried to craft legislation that would allow them to use municipal assets and rights-of-way to construct so-called small cells to help build out 5G service across Pennsylvania. Those efforts have traditionally been unsuccessful as municipalities, wireless carriers, and organized labor could never agree on language that was fair to all concerned stakeholders.
That all changed this spring with the introduction and passage of HB 1621 (now Act 50 of 2021). Thanks to painstaking compromise and the give-and-take of legislative negotiation, Pennsylvania is now the proud new home of one of the fairest and most comprehensive small cell laws in the country. Millions of Pennsylvanians will gain access to high speed 5G service which will help the state expand telemedicine, provide better access to education as well as a whole host of other benefits. Municipalities and local governments will also be fairly compensated for the use of their assets.
While there is no “silver bullet” for broadband service expansion into more rural areas of the state, Act 50 will be an important piece of that puzzle. Triad Strategies was proud to advocate on behalf of American Tower/Agile Networks for its passage while we look ahead to the next challenge: bridging the digital divide for every Pennsylvanian, regardless of zip code.