Sacramento, CA – Local leaders from throughout California are disappointed as an Assembly Committee opted to side with the wireless industry over the interests of California residents.
A broad coalition of cities, counties, environmental and consumer advocates opposes SB 649 by Sen. Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) because it would give wireless providers unfettered ability to install bulky cellular equipment on any street light or traffic light and even many public libraries, schools and other public buildings without permission from local governments, input from the public or fair compensation for city and county residents. The industry already has broad ability to use readily available public and private utility poles to attach their equipment.
This bill silences local voices and will cost taxpayers around the state tens of millions of dollars. SB 649 is a giveaway from Sacramento to the industry without requiring that the industry deliver any meaningful public benefits such as free Wi-Fi in public parks or network access for public safety first responders.
The bill passed the Assembly Local Government Committee on a 6-1 vote Wednesday. The bill will be heard next in the Assembly Communications and Conveyance Committee.
The bill is opposed by the League of California Cities, California State Association of Counties, Rural County Representatives of California, the San Francisco Public Utilities Committee and over 175 cities, 32 counties and other organizations.
Established in 1898, the League of California Cities is a nonprofit statewide association that advocates for cities with the state and federal governments and provides education and training services to elected and appointed city officials.