The United States Supreme Court today sided with T-Mobile and said that a town in Georgia did not provide a timely explanation of why it denied a request to put up a cell tower.
According to Reuters, the case dealt with a 2010 T-Mobile South tower construction request that was denied by Roswell, Georgia. In the initial letter, the city did not disclose the reason for the denial. That information was made available 26 days later when the meeting minutes were made public.
Dave Miller, T-Mobile Executive Vice President and General Counsel, applauded the Court’s decision requiring local governments to “contemporaneously” provide reasons for a denial.
“This is a great victory for consumers who demand reliable wireless coverage in their homes, where they work and while mobile. Transparent and fair decision-making by local governments will allow wireless service providers to improve the nation’s wireless networks to meet consumers demand,” Miller said in a statement.
Jonathan Adelstein, President and CEO of PCIA, thanked the Court for recognizing that the City of Roswell had not complied with its “statutory obligation” to give PCIA members, like T-Mobile, timely and sufficient rationale for denying a siting application.
“On the heels of today’s decision, PCIA will continue to alleviate burdens on wireless broadband build-out wherever they may be,” Adelstein said in a statement.
Last summer CTIA CEO Meredith Attwell Baker advocated for regulators to streamline the infrastructure building process by limiting the ability of state and local authorities to delay and derail the building and updating of cellular network sites.
Attwell Baker said many municipal leaders treat requests to install new or upgrade existing infrastructure with “indifference or outright resistance.” She added that some local leaders spend months deliberating, that in some cases litigation can delay the process for years, and that some towns have placed local moratoria on infrastructure work.
CTIA’s suggestions came shortly after the FCC adopted a report and order to streamline and eliminate outdated provisions of the Part 17 rules governing the construction, marking and lighting of antenna structures.