Pending telecom bills sharply limit local control over antennas in rights-of-way

Two proposed bills in the Missouri Legislature, HB 656 and SB 354, would modify state law related to municipal control and regulation of wireless communications infrastructure. Although the language of the bills is still changing, various versions of the bills include the following potential impacts:

  • Prohibit Rights-of-Way (“ROW”) agreements for “small wireless” and “micro wireless” facilities

  • Prohibit any ROW permits or City approval for various types of new or replacement wireless facilities

  • Eliminates existing or new antenna fees and linear foot fees

  • Eliminates “gross receipts taxes,” or other taxes on wireless “not required by state of federal law” – which could be interpreted to end all existing gross receipts and other taxes; modification of this language is essential to clarify

  • Eliminates existing authority to permit and regulate wireless in the ROW

  • Expands preemption of zoning for collocations on and now even “immediately adjacent” to existing structures

  • Mandates a guarantee of an antenna location in ROW for 25 years

  • Mandates Municipal Utilities to allow antennas on Municipal poles

These Bills could cause huge loss of existing taxes or fees, loss of control over appearance and interference in the ROW, and create an incentive to move all antennas into the ROW to avoid paying private owners rent. Please contact your State Elected Official if you wish to express your concern over these bills.