Recent reports detailed how a previously little-known portion of the state budget bill heavily restricts local governments from stopping placement of new cellular telephone towers. But participants in a WXPR forum on broadband says changes could help get more local cell service to under served areas.
Former Three Lakes town chair Don Sidlowski says they were able to work with a private provider...Cellcom...to get tower placements...
"....very often local municipalities make it very difficult if not impossible for a provider to come in, either through local ordinance or they're going to be restricted to a certain height. One of the things we've been talking about in the last seven years is to make it easy to enable the providers to come in an help our communities. If we make it difficult, they're going to go where the past of resistence is less strict..."
Sidlowski says there was criticism in Three Lakes. But he says the government was able to help the provider get the towers to provide the service, making it easier to get better service to the town.
UW-Professor Barry Orton last week said the changes in the budget bill too heavily favored cellular tower owners at the expense of local jurisdiction over placing the towers.
The Broadband forum is available online at WXPR.org