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Legislative Advocacy

Posted on: June 28, 2021

Assembly Approves Bill Preempting Local Control Over Small Cell/5G Deployment in Municipal ROW

The Assembly voted yesterday to approve A-1116(R3), legislation that seeks to preempt and supersede local regulation of small cell (5G) deployment within the municipal rights-of-way. The League opposes A-1116 because it provides broadband telecommunications providers with favorable and discounted access to public rights-of-way without requiring these cost savings be passed on to customers, or requiring broadband infrastructure buildout necessary to help bridge the digital divide. Further, recent amendments to A-1116/S-2674 expand the scope of the legislation beyond the bill’s original intention, further limiting safeguards for local communities.

The Senate companion bill, S-2674, had also been scheduled for a vote yesterday but was ultimately removed from the board list thanks in part to outreach from our members. There remains a possibility that the Senate will consider this bill next week, so we are urging our members to contact your legislators and urge them not to advance this legislation.

For more information please see the League’s blog post on the topic, and the recent op-ed written by Mayors Ras Baraka of Newark and Adrian Mapp of Plainfield.

Contact: Frank Marshall, Esq., Associate General Counsel, fmarshall@njlm.org, 609-695-3481, x137.

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