Let me start by saying that I personally like and respect Mike Fitch, who is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the PCIA – The Wireless Infrastructure Association. I’ve had the pleasure of sitting next to him several times on panels at wireless and government conferences. Mike is a smart guy, well spoken, and well spoken of.
You know, however, that with a preface like that I’m leading to something…
I’m disappointed that in announcing the passage of Section 6409 to the various state wireless associations, Mike said in part in his memo:
Significant victory for the industry
This legislation is an important win for our industry. It will save hundreds of millions of dollars as the industry deploys new technologies without wasteful review of existing wireless infrastructure sites. This will enable better network planning and build-out on existing and new sites. It will produce more capital investment and job growth to keep up with the dramatic increase in wireless use.
Wasteful review of existing wireless sites?
I suspect that significant segments of the public and state and local governments don’t agree that their reviews of wireless site collocation applications is “wasteful.” Rather, it’s far more likely that the public and governments would says that the review is necessary to promote community aesthetics, and to deter the expansion of legal non-conforming uses.
It’s interesting that in Mike’s public press release posted to the PCIA website, he omitted the “wasteful” reference, when he said:
This legislation is a significant victory for our industry and for all consumers, businesses and public safety agencies that rely on wireless connectivity. . . It is a common sense measure that will significantly reduce regulatory burdens on infrastructure deployment—saving the industry hundreds of millions of dollars over many years. The ultimate beneficiaries are the nation’s wireless users, who will gain access to better, faster and more ubiquitous service as a result of the accelerated pace of deployment.
It’s all in the eyes of the beholder. What is wasteful to one is protective to another. For now, however, the industry has scored a major victory.
Local governments are already talking about how to work with and around the worst parts of Section 6409, and how to track the results of those 145 words.