Very late last night (October 15, 2017), Governor Jerry Brown VETOED Senate Bill 649 (Hueso).  Thank you Gov. Brown!

SB 649 was nothing more than an obscene transfer of wealth away from California citizens to wireless industry and cable TV industry shareholders by way of grossly reduced site rental fees, far below their fair market value.  A diversion of funds that currently goes to offset public safety costs like police and fire services.

The pig is dead!

What did the industry promise in SB 649 to do for the incredible gifts of public funds and public property?

Perhaps a duty to provide 5G services anywhere in California?  Nope, not in SB 649.

Perhaps a duty to provide 4G (or even 3G) services to under- and un-served areas of California? Nope, not in SB 649.

Maybe some duty to provide an earthquake early warning system, which the carriers told legislators could only be provided by 5G?  Nope, not in SB 649.

Maybe some duty to close the ever-widening digital divide in California?  Nope, not in SB 649.

Maybe a duty to provide a non-actionable report to the Legislature?  Yup.  This was the only actual duty on the industry in SB 649.  One that was truly meaningless in the grand scheme of things.

SB 649 was a multi-billion dollar sham almost perpetrated on Californians by Sen. Hueso and Asm. Quirk, the co-sponsors, on behalf of their patrons, the wireless industry and the cable TV industry. A sham that would have caused local government to raise taxes to replace the non-tax revenues paid by the wireless industry for fair-market site rentals.

SB 649 was opposed by nearly 300 local governments and government associations representing over 95% of the citizens of California who knew that they were being taken for a ride. It was also opposed by the AARP and the Teamsters.

It took the vision and courage of Governor Jerry Brown to VETO this horrible bill, and all local governments and their citizens in this Golden State thank him for his leadership and courage to buck the will of the wireless industry!

My partner, Robert (“Tripp”) May points out that Governor Brown sent us all an important message in his veto statement. Governor Brown said in relevant part:

There is something of real value in having a process that results in extending this innovative technology rapidly and efficiently. Nevertheless, I believe that the interest which localities have in managing the rights of way requires a more balanced solution than the one achieved in this bill.

Tripp notes that this is a value proposition: Each side should get real value.  SB 649 had no real value for the people of California because there were no real duties on the part of the wireless industry.  Value isn’t found in a blatant wealth transfer that results in the reduction in police and fire funding.  When the wireless industry gets that key point, and is prepared to discuss a true small cell bill (sorry…35 cubic feet is not small) they will find willing negotiators in California’s local government community, and among our partners.


To read Governor Brown’s veto message, click on the following link: Sb_649_Veto_Message_2017


SB649: Autonomous Cars and Autonomous Lies

In a frantic effort to try and salvage SB649 (the “Wireless Industry Prevarication and Theft of the People’s Property Act”) from a veto by Gov. Brown, the wireless industry has come up with a nifty new lie: Without 5G small cells we cannot have autonomous cars.


Well, with other industry ‘sounds good’ myths debunked, the wireless industry lobbyists have straining to find a new prevarication not once mentioned in any of the SB649 hearings: autonomous cars need small cells to work drive.

Okay, if that’s the case (and its not) then how will self-driving vehicles travel on controlled access state highways and Interstate Highways?  Will the industry commit to placing small cells for each company about every 500 feet along those high access/use roadways?  That would be about 45 new small cells along each mile of roadway.

Oh, wait… As Jim Lovell actually said during the Apollo 13 mission, “Houston, we’ve had a problem.”

The problem is that SB 649 doesn’t grant any rights to install small cells on controlled access state highways or Interstate Highways.  It only deals with right-of-ways controlled by local governments.

Oops!  Let’s not let the truth cloud the wireless industry lies…again.

SB 649 is simply a way of diverting 10s of $billions of rent from the citizens of California and into the pockets of wireless industry shareholders with no duties on the wireless industry to build even one small cell site, close one inch of the existing digital divide, provide even 4G services to under- and unserved areas in California.

Stop the SB649 Rip Off!