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Santa Clarita Legislative Committee to discuss 5G

The City Council Legislative Committee is expected to review Wednesday a proposed bill that nullifies rules by the Federal Communications Commission limiting local jurisdictions like Santa Clarita to regulate the deployment of 5G wireless infrastructure. 

The meeting, scheduled at 2 p.m. at City Hall, will provide members of the committee, which include council members Cameron Smyth and Bob Kellar, information on Senate Bill 2012 and recommend the City Council support the proposal, according to the staff report. 

S. 2012, authored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein and introduced in June 2019, proposes to overturn the FCC’s regulations adopted in August and September 2018. 

The FCC regulations include new shot clocks that preempt the duration of time local governments have to review applications related to small wireless facilities, provisions that preempt the number of fees local governments can apply toward the installation of small wireless facilities and specific requirements on how wireless facilities should appear and where they may be installed. 

Before the new FCC rules were introduced, local governments regulated the placement, operation, maintenance and design of such infrastructure as subject to federal and state limitation. 

5G, the next generation of wireless cellular technology, is intended to support new technologies such as autonomous vehicles and is slated to be an alternative to wired communication such as broadband and DSL. 

To help the city better understand the new FCC changes and learn what it can legally do to require carriers to play by the rules, Santa Clarita worked with Telecom Law Firm to draft a new wireless policy specific to 5G. The City Council is expected to hold a public hearing and consider adopting a draft policy on Nov. 12, according to Benny Ives, information technology manager with the city. 

While the City Council looks into taking a position on legislation and considers the new wireless policy, the community can learn more about 5G through a city webpage at santa-clarita.com/5G. 

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