Friday, November 03, 2017

Michigan Senate Holds Hearing on Bills to Streamline Wireline and Wireless Broadband Deployment

The Michigan Senate is considering a pair of bills that would limit fees, streamline permits, and generally make it easier for private network providers to deploy both wireline broadband and 5G wireless broadband.
Senate Bill 636 would cap permit fees required for a wireline telecommunications provider working within a county right-of-way and set limits on bonding and insurance requirements for wireline telecommunications providers working within a county right-of-way. It is similar to the package of HB 5096, HB 5097, and HB 5098 currently being considered by the Michigan House of Representatives.
Senate Bill 637 would provide similar regulatory relief for wireless providers. It would limit fees charged by local government for attachments to utility poles and access to other facilities; provide for use of rights-of-way; put limits on certain permitting processes and zoning reviews; prohibit certain commercially discriminatory actions by state or local authorities; and prohibit certain indemnification or insurance requirements.
I had the opportunity to appear before the Michigan Senate Energy and Technology Committee on November 2, 2017. Senator Mike Nofs chaired the hearing on the proposed bills. My testimony before the committee is available here.