State Legislation Limits City Authority Over 5G Communications Facilities
New state legislation is limiting the ability of municipalities to regulate the deployment of new communications facilities for mobile 5G, which is impacting the City of Pensacola’s authority over city rights of way where these facilities may be installed locally.
Senate Bill 1000 was signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis on June 25, 2019, and it includes language that prohibits municipalities and counties from adopting or enforcing certain ordinances, regulations, or requirements related to communications services. The bill also specifies limitations on municipal and county authority to regulate and manage municipal and county roads or rights of way.
The mobile fifth-generation, or 5G, wireless systems are the next upgrade of wireless technology, which wireless carriers say will offer faster speeds, greater capacity and better reliability. Deploying this new technology requires new infrastructure called small cells, which generate less power while collecting and transmitting signals in a short range from one another.
As this new technology is installed, the City of Pensacola will be working within its legal authority to preserve the aesthetic integrity of neighborhoods. However, the city will be required to follow state laws and may not have the ability to prevent these communications facilities from being installed or regulate the location of the facilities.