Plan B Paper by
In partial fulfillment of the requirements for
the degree of Master of Planning in Public Affairs
Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs
University of Minnesota
Recipient of the Robert C. Einsweiler Award for the best Intellectual Project in Planning.
Approved: 11 Jun 1997
Posted on the WWW: 17 Jun 1997
Table of contents
1. Introduction *
2. PCS Technology and industry *
2.1 Cellular *
2.2 Personal communications services (PCS) *
2.2.1 Regulatory definition of PCS *
2.2.2 Technical definition of PCS *
22.214.171.124 Standards trouble *
126.96.36.199 What’s so great about being digital? *
2.2.3 Service definition of PCS: PCS is "personal" *
2.3 Demand for PCS *
2.4 PCS costs and pricing *
2.5 PCS providers and the state of the roll-out *
2.6 Key points in this section *
3. Wireless antennas and towers *
3.1 Antennas *
3.2 Lattice towers *
3.3 Monopoles *
3.4 Building-attached facilities *
3.5 Key points in this section *
4. U. S. Federal Law and PCS *
4.1 The Telecommunications Act of 1996 *
4.1.1 Siting authority *
4.1.2 Discrimination, prohibition and timeliness *
4.1.3 Environmental and health effects *
4.2 Licensing *
4.3 Key points in this section *
5. Key stakeholders and their issues *
5.1 Citizens *
5.1.1 Health concerns *
5.1.2 Aesthetics/property values *
5.2 Consumers and businesses *
5.3 Private landowners *
5.4 PCS Providers *
5.4.1 External mandates *
5.4.2 Technical feasibility *
5.4.3 Local permitting process *
5.5 Local government *
5.5.1 Mandates from the Federal Government *
5.5.2 Due process *
5.5.3 Pricing of public property *
5.6 State and federal government *
5.7 Stakeholders relationships *
5.8 Key points in this section *
6. Wireless facilities siting: process and output *
6.1 A model ordinance *
6.2 Creating the ordinance and selecting the sites *
6.2.1 Analyzing the stakeholders *
6.2.2 Addressing the citizen stakeholder *
6.2.3 Addressing LULU/NIMBY issues *
6.2.4 Limitations of the approaches *
6.3 Applying the process approaches *
6.3.1 The Tower at Oquaga Lake *
6.3.2 Information and planning *
6.3.3 Applying the consensus-based approach *
6.3.4 A model for creating the regulatory framework and site selection/rejection *
188.8.131.52 Creation of the regulatory framework *
184.108.40.206 Administrative review process *
220.127.116.11 Discretionary review process *
6.4 Key points in this section *
7. Conclusion *
8. Summary of key points *
9. Glossary of terms *
10. Bibliography *
10.1 Ordinances, regulations and policies reviewed *
10.1.1 Model ordinances *
10.1.2 City ordinances, regulations and policies *
11. Appendices *
11.1 Determination of cellular MSA/RSA markets and counties *
11.2 Determination of PCS BTAs and MTAs *
11.3 Model wireless facilities siting ordinance *
Tables and figures
Figure 1: Logical diagram of a cellular network *
Figure 2: U. S. Broadband PCS spectrum *
Figure 3: Market prediction *
Figure 4: Antennas *
Figure 5: Lattice tower *
Figure 6: Monopole *
Figure 7: Flower tower *
Figure 8: Building attached facility *
Figure 9: Stakeholders and their relationships *
Figure 10: Interpreting the stakeholder *
Figure 11: The Effective decision model of public involvement *
Table 1: U.S. Broadband PCS spectrum *
Table 2: Predicted cell sizes for PCS and cellular *
Table 3: Top five PCS providers for A & B Block MTAs *
The fast growth of the wireless industry is making the siting of wireless antennas and towers an increasingly prominent issue across the United States. Industry estimates set the current number of wireless facilities sites at 22,000 to 25,00 0 and analysts expect that another 100,000 will need to be added in the next 5-10 years (WirelessNOW Fundamentals of PCS networks 1997). The single largest contributor to the proliferation of sites over the next few years is likely to be the personal comm unications services (PCS) provider. PCS providers have recently spent a combined total of more than $20 Billion to purchase licenses from the FCC and are eager to start selling services to recover this cost. Further, the wireless industry is becoming incr easingly competitive and companies who get to market first will have an advantage over their competitors. Market studies indicate that the demand for wireless services will continue to grow at a rapid rate, making it worthwhile to be a leader.
This rush to market by the PCS providers has resulted in the submission of an enormous number of siting applications to local governments across the United States. Most of these local governments have had to face siting issues before when cellular netw orks were built in their communities, and they are facing them again on a much larger scale to satisfy PCS providers. Many of these local governments were unprepared for this rash of applications, had legitimate concerns for their communities and passed m oratoria to give themselves time to figure out how to handle the siting process.
The objective of this paper is to assist both the PCS industry and local governments in the siting of wireless facilities. To do this, the PCS technology and industry will be analyzed in some detail. In considering wireless facilities siting issues, it is important to have an understanding of both the technology involved and the PCS industry itself. Next, a more detailed discussion of wireless antennas and towers will be provided. Following this section, what is proscribed and permitted by U.S. Federal Law in terms of wireless facilities siting at the local government level is discussed. This will set the boundaries within which local government can operate. In the next section, an overview of the key stakeholders and the issues important to them is gi ven. Finally, ordinances and processes that can be of assistance in the siting of wireless facilities are examined. An example of model ordinance is presented. A model process incorporating the development of an ordinance and individual siting decisions i s presented and discussed in detail.
2. PCS Technology and industry
To be able to examine the issues relevant the siting of PCS towers and antennas, it is important to have at least a rudimentary understanding of both the technology involved and the state of the PCS industry. In this section the more familia r—and already widely-implemented—arena of cellular technology and services will be described. Next, the essential components of PCS are explained and compared to cellular where applicable. Finally, an overview of PCS economics and the present state of aff airs for PCS companies entering the market is given.
The cellular system is designed to provide wireless phone and low speed data services in limited spectrum space (in the 800 MHz band in the U.S.). Users are able to place phone calls and transfer data without the need to be connected to the public switched telephone network (PSTN). This is accomplished by breaking up geographic areas into small regions called cells and placing a tower in each cell that receives and transmits to the user and connects to the PSTN.
The extensive coverage of the cellular network today is made possible by the cell architecture, which allows for the reuse of frequencies in the limited spectrum space. After a certain distance (approximately 4-6 times the cell radius), cell frequencie s used in one cell can be reused in another, giving the cellular system a large capacity, despite the limited spectrum space allocated to cellular. Low power transmitters provide coverage within each cell. The cells are designed to be hexagonally shaped w ith no gaps of coverage between the cells. As subscribers move between cells, calls are "handed-off" to a radio link in the next cell. Cell sizes typically range from a radius of 1 mile or less in densely populated urban areas to 10 miles or more in rural areas, although this depends on factors such as terrain, physical obstructions such as buildings and penetration rates (NTIA 1995).
Components of the system are the mobile telephone switching office (MTSO), cell site base stations, and mobile units (see Figure 1). The MTSO (displayed in the center cell) is the central office for the entire cellular system, taking care of call proce ssing and billing, and provides the link to the public switched telephone network (PSTN). The base stations (displayed as "Radio tower" in each cell) provide the radio link to the mobile subscribers. Subscribers generally own or lease their own "mobile un its," usually phones (NTIA 1995).
Figure 1: Logical diagram of a cellular network
Source: NTIA 1995.
2.2 Personal communications services (PCS)
There are at least three ways to define PCS, from the view of: the provider (technical), the subscriber (service) or the government (regulatory). The different definitions will be explored below. In general terms, though, PCS as it is being implemented today is a wireless service similar to cellular phone service.
There are endless debates about which architecture and technology platforms should be used to provide wireless PCS. These debates offer little insight into what precisely encompasses the concept of PCS in a technical sense. The types of services and fe atures provided as part of PCS are the defining factors of PCS. PCS is ultimately a service package more than it is a technology. Unfortunately, the services being offered in the initial roll-out of PCS are in most cases not exclusive to PCS. It is only t he service concept taken as a whole, once it is fully implemented on a global scale, that will differentiate PCS from other technologies. Perhaps the simplest way to define PCS is from a regulatory standpoint. In the U.S., wireless PCS is simply the servi ce offered over those parts of the electromagnetic spectrum designated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Elements of each way of looking at PCS are discussed below, but it is the simple regulatory definition that will be used to begin the di scussion.
2.2.1 Regulatory definition of PCS
PCS actually encompasses two different services licensed by the FCC which are delivered over two different bands of the electromagnetic spectrum, as well as certain unlicensed services. The first is Narrowband PCS, to which 3 MHz has been al located in the 900 MHz band of the electromagnetic spectrum. Narrowband PCS usually includes specialized services such as messaging and advanced paging (FCC Narrowband fact sheet 1997).
The other form of PCS is Broadband, to which a 140 MHz block in the 1850-1990 MHz band of the electromagnetic spectrum has been allocated. Table 1 and Figure 2 below show how the FCC has broken the frequencies into blocks that are sold to PCS providers at auctions. Section 4.2 discusses this in more detail (FCC Broadband fact sheet 1997).
Table 1: U.S. Broadband PCS spectrum
Frequency band (MHz)
Source: Compiled from FCC Broadband fact sheet, Broadband PCS band plan graphic and Kuruppillai 1997.
Figure 2: U. S. Broadband PCS spectrum
Source: FCC Broadband PCS band plan graphic.
It is important to note that while certain technologies are used to implement PCS in this portion of the spectrum, there is nothing inherent in these technologies that requires PCS to be implemented over exactly these frequency bands. The choice of this part of the spectrum is purely regulatory. And, in fact, the portion of the spectrum used for PCS varies by country, just as it does for analog cellular.
2.2.2 Technical definition of PCS
Broadband PCS is the form of PCS normally compared to cellular service and it is the form of PCS that will be discussed in the rest of this paper. To limit the scope of this paper a focus on Broadband PCS has been chosen for the following re asons:
The physical design of a Broadband PCS network is similar in concept to that of a cellular network. A PCS network uses a similar cell structure, although its cells are generally smaller than cellular. Part of the reason for this has to do with the fact that Broadband PCS operates at a frequency range much higher than that of cellular (1850-1990 MHz for PCS vs. 824-829 MHz for cellular). Frequencies at the lower end of the spectrum tend to have a long range with higher levels of interference, while thos e at the higher end tend to have shorter ranges with a low level of interference and the ability to penetrate structures. Further, losses in the signal strength over a distance (propagation) are greater at higher frequencies, and the signals are absorbed by the outer atmosphere instead of being reflected (Kuruppillai 1997). These characteristics of higher frequency transmission restrict the PCS network design to smaller sized cells that are primarily direct line-of-sight. This "line-of-sight" is not neces sarily a visible line-of-sight, but the obstructions between the user and the antenna need to be relatively few to minimize degradation of the signal caused by passing through structures (attenuation). There are several other issues significant to the cel l size. As with cellular, these include terrain characteristics, physical obstructions such as buildings and customer penetration levels. In general, though, PCS cell sites are smaller than cellular.
Statistical models have been developed to help network engineers predict the cell size. Two typically used industry propagation models are the Okumura-Hata (800 MHz band) and the COST-231-Hata (1800/1900 MHz band). These models were developed by fittin g mathematical curves to a large number of plotted data observations. The predicted cell sizes for PCS and cellular networks resulting from these models are shown in Table 2 below.
Table 2: Predicted cell sizes for PCS and cellular
Tower Height (feet)
PCS (1900 MHz) Range (miles)
Cellular (870 MHz) Range (miles)
Source: Kuruppillai 1997.
The smaller PCS cell architecture means the user and her handset are relatively close to the receiving antenna. This reduces both the power needs of the handset (usually less than one watt), allowing it to be smaller and lighter, and the size of the antennas. The benefit of the smaller handset is clear; it is a less bulky item for the user to carry around. The antenna issue is more of a mixed blessing. While antennas in PCS are certainly smaller and can be made less obtrusive, more antennas are required than in a cellular system.
18.104.22.168 Standards trouble
The PCS industry has certainly made an effort to agree on standards. However, as is often the case in technology, there are competing options to deploy PCS. The three standards for PCS deployment receiving the most attention today are: G roupe Speciale Mobile or Global System for Mobile communications (GSM), Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) and Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA). Each of these is being implemented in the United States as well as in countries across the globe. In the United States, in general, incumbent cellular companies are implementing the same technology they are using (or plan to use) in their digital cellular networks. For example, AT&T Wireless and Southwestern Bell have implemented TDMA in their cellular networks and plan to do the same in their PCS networks. Cellular providers who have deployed CDMA in their networks will also do so in their PCS networks, and several providers also plan to deploy GSM, which is not currently compatible with any cellular s tandards (Kuruppillai 1997).
The lack of standardization means that users will not be able to move ("roam") between networks that use different technologies. In his article, Handler argues that the lack of standards may not be as important as one might think, since studies conduct ed by the Yankee Group indicate that only 15 percent of cellular users take advantage of roaming (Handler 1997). But since the whole point of PCS is to be completely mobile (see section 2.2.3), this argument is hardly convincing. One potential work-around being considered in the industry is manufacturing phones that will work with each standard, but it is likely this will increase the size and weight of the phone beyond acceptable consumer limits. Another option is for each company to build its own nation al—and perhaps global—network. This is the strategy being pursued by companies such as Sprint Spectrum in the United States.
22.214.171.124 What’s so great about being digital?
There are several benefits of being a completely digital service. The following characteristics apply equally to digital cellular and PCS:
2.2.3 Service definition of PCS: PCS is "personal"
The mainstream media often differentiates personal communications services (PCS) in a service sense from cellular by emphasizing two things:
But neither of these differentiates PCS from what is already possible with digital cellular. And while at this time PCS users can only use their own provider’s PCS network (i.e., users have to stay in the areas covered by their PCS company), digital ce llular users can generally use the existing analog networks which are already in place across the country and fairly well standardized. So what’s so special about PCS?
The main idea behind PCS is not currently well-covered by the mainstream media. This is perhaps because it is not (yet) emphasized by the PCS providers themselves. It is the fact that PCS is personalized that really distinguishes it from cellula r, or other types of telecommunications services. The real benefit to the user (or detriment, if one is nervous about having another identifying code akin to a Social Security Number) is that each will be able to communicate with anyone, anytime, anywhere with the help of a "personal number." This number can be kept forever, unless the user acts to change it, even when switching providers (often called number portability). I.e., if a user wants to switch from Sprint PCS to Aerial Communications, sh e can do this and keep the same number.
This also means that the number travels with the user, and eventually this should mean world-wide. In other words, a user will be able to travel to Madagascar, and someone can call her at the same number at which she can be reached in Minneapolis. This also means that the user is not necessarily tied to a single device, such as a mobile phone. In conception at least, she should be able to register her location on the network even from a phone on the wired network and receive calls at her personal numbe r. This is true roaming capability.
Additionally, each of the custom services selected (caller ID, voice mail, call forwarding, e-mail, etc.) is also tied to the personal number. When a user switches providers or roams across the world, her services also stay with her. But—and here is pa rt of the reason this hasn’t been touted much yet by PCS providers—this works because a user’s information is stored somewhere in a database (called a Home Location Register, or HLR) that can be accessed from a global PCS network. Neither the problem of i ntegrating global HLRs nor that of access standards has been resolved sufficiently at this point to make this a reality "real soon now."
2.3 Demand for PCS
Predictions from industry analysts on the rapid growth of digital wireless services in general, and PCS in particular, abound. Predicting demand for cellular has been an inaccurate science to date, to say the least. In 1994 the consensus amo ng industry analysts was a growth rate of 35 percent. In fact, the cellular industry grew 51 percent, a full 16 percentage points off the mark (Kuruppillai 1997). Every prediction uncovered in the research for this paper suggests rapid growth in the PCS i ndustry, although some estimates are more conservative than others. Several of these predictions are reviewed below.
Currently, the number of analog cellular users far exceeds the number of digital cellular and PCS users. According to the consulting firm the Yankee Group, in 1996 there were 35.43 million analog cellular users, 1.43 million digital cellular users and 250,000 PCS users nation-wide. But by the year 2004, the Yankee Group predicts that the number of digital users will be more than double that of analog users, with PCS holding about 30 million (Handler 1997). Figure 3 below shows the Yankee Group predicti ons graphically.
Figure 3: Market prediction
Source: Handler 1997 (originally from the Yankee Group).
A study published by Action Information Services (AIS) predicts somewhat more conservatively that there will be almost 18 million PCS subscribers in 10 years, bringing in annual revenues of $8 Billion. The Personal Communications Industry Associ ation (PCIA), in perhaps the most optimistic prediction, expects $8.5 Billion in U.S. PCS service revenues and approximately 15 million subscribers by the year 2000. By 2005, PCIA expects $17.5 Billion and 40 million subscribers (WirelessNOW Detailed info rmation page 1997). Sprint is claiming more than 100,000 subscribers in the Washington/Baltimore market in its first year of operation (Handler 1997).
While it is difficult to find a consensus on what the precise growth rates will be, it is generally accepted that the number of wireless subscribers will continue to grow at rapid rates and that digital wireless services, including PCS, will gain marke t share.
But can PCS compete against digital cellular for a share of the wireless market? Indications are that PCS providers are willing to give big initial concessions to consumers to gain market share. PCS companies have affirmed that they plan to compete hea vily with packages offering a number of advanced services, special deals (e.g., 600 free minutes with Sprint to sign up for PCS in Pittsburgh), no contract for service, and especially low prices. Kristie Madara from BellSouth Mobility DCS is quoted by Han dler as saying her company tries to come in 10 percent below local cellular rates, and Pacific Bell’s Krom says his firm is planning to offer service initially 10 to 20 percent below cellular (Handler 1997).
But there are still barriers to switching. One example is the cost of the phone. In cellular plans, the user generally leases the phone, or pays 1 cent up front in exchange for a service commitment (in effect a lease buried in the fixed monthly fee). I n all service plans available to date, PCS users have to buy the phone up front (currently ranging in price from $199 to $400).
2.4 PCS costs and pricing
It appears that PCS companies are willing to go after cellular companies on pricing initially. But is this pricing sustainable? In this section, the cost and pricing structure in the PCS market will be examined.
There are several cost components to any wireless network, including: general and administrative (interconnect and roaming agreements, customer service, and billing), operations (building and maintaining the network, including site acquisition) and mar keting (Kuruppillai 1997).
According to Makosinski, it should be cheaper to build a PCS network than a cellular network. His estimates are that cell installation costs should average around $5,000 each for PCS, compared to the $50,000 to $1 million costs for a cellular cell, whi ch he attributes to the expensive high tower, channel costs, real estate rental costs and higher initial equipment outlay (Makosinski 1995). Some of this cost differential may, however, be eaten up by the fact that more PCS cells are needed (at least init ially) than cellular cells. Further, other differences in cost are also important. One up front cost is the high cost of PCS licenses (up to $32/pop for 30 MHz of spectrum in a MTA and $77/pop for 30 MHz of spectrum in a BTA) compared to cellular licenses , which were basically given away for free in the 1980s. Other factors such as the increased marketing cost per subscriber to get users to switch are also not taken into account.
Initially, the PCS providers are likely to have a large amount of unused capacity in their new digital networks. In the long distance market, this situation had led carriers to lower prices to increase their volume (i.e., use more of their excess capac ity which has a low marginal cost) and recover capital investments more quickly (Kuruppillai 1997). If the PCS companies do the same, they are sure to spark a response from the cellular providers to reduce their prices. The cellular companies have some ad vantage in a price war, in that most have already had a chance to recover a significant portion of their capital costs by charging duopoly prices in the years of two carriers per market. However, the analog cellular networks are not likely to have the exc ess capacity that the digital PCS networks have, making it difficult to meet the increased usage of the network brought on by lower pricing. It appears that at least initially, PCS companies will be willing and able to charge lower prices. In any event, s urvival in the initial stages of PCS deployment will require deep pockets.
In PCS, as in cellular service, there are two components to the price: the monthly fixed charge and airtime charges. Plans can also be purchased that include some airtime in the monthly fixed charge.
The Yankee Group offers some initial summary pricing figures. In its report looking back on the year in PCS (1996), it says that PCS prices have been "moderately less than cellular, averaging 25-30% less at lower usage levels and 15-20% less at higher usage levels" (The Yankee Group November 1996).
An example of the PCS pricing from the Nevada Bell Mobile Services plan for Las Vegas illustrates the initial pricing. Customers can choose from four calling plans:
Additionally, users who sign up within the first two months can elect the special calling plan for $49.95/month which gives them 1,000 free minutes each month. All of the plans are month-to-month; there is no long-term contract required. Each plan incl udes caller ID, call waiting, call forwarding, call hold and conferencing calling (WirelessNOW Viva Las Vegas 1997).
It is interesting to note that in a hypothetical analysis of the Dallas-Fort Worth BTA using a popular statistical model (WIST), Kuruppillai estimated that wireless services (PCS and cellular) will become commodities by the year 2010, at which time the monthly fixed charge will be $15 and the per minute rate 5 cents (Kuruppillai 1997).
2.5 PCS providers and the state of the roll-out
Attempting to give an overview of PCS providers and the extent to which they have accomplished rolling out their networks is difficult to say the least. The number of industry alliances and purchases of licenses under names such as "Wireless Co, LP" better known as "Sprint PCS" or sometimes "Sprint Spectrum" make it difficult at times to determine who the owners of licenses are. Further, PCS companies generally do not make public the extent to which their build-out is accomplished until they are ready to go to market. Finally, the industry is moving so rapidly that by the time you read this most of the "roll-out" information will be obsolete. Having said this, an attempt will be made to give an overview of the major players in the market at t his time, their build-out, and how much potential coverage they have with the licenses they own. While the state of the build-out will certainly change, the coverage areas owned by companies and the significant players in the market is not likely to chang e dramatically, at least in the foreseeable future.
In an FCC public forum on wireless facilities siting on February 10, 1997, a PCIA representative cited that there are approximately 22,000 to 25,000 existing wireless facilities in the United States today (FCC Public forum 1997). At this forum and as s ubstantiated by WirelessNOW, it was estimated that an additional 100,000 wireless facilities will need to be put in place over the next 5-10 years for the "next generation of wireless services", including PCS (WirelessNOW Fundamentals of PCS networks 1997 ). In other words, the roll-out of the networks will be rapid in the near future.
The advent of PCS technology has the potential to shift the wireless market structure from the duopoly that existed under cellular to a more competitive environment of up to 8 providers of service in a metropolitan area (see section 4).
Many of the bigger players include familiar—although slightly modified—names in the telecommunications industry. Just examining the licenses purchased for MTAs in spectrum blocks A and B (the blocks with the largest coverage areas sold at once), the fo llowing five came out with the largest areas of population coverage: Sprint Spectrum (buying licenses as "WirelessCo, LP" also known as Sprint PCS, a joint venture of Sprint Corporation, Tele-Communications, Inc. (TCI) Cox Communications, and Comcast Corp oration). AT&T Wireless PCS Inc. (formerly McCaw), PCS PrimeCo (alliance between Bell Atlantic, NYNEX, AirTouch and USWest), Pacific Telesis Mobile Services and Aerial Communications, Inc. (formerly American Portable Telecommunications, Inc.). The res ults can be seen in Table 3.
Table 3: Top five PCS providers for A & B Block MTAs
Total Population (M)
Detroit, Boston-Providence, St. Louis, Louisville-Lexington-Evansville, Phoenix, Wichita, Seattle (Excluding Alaska), New York, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Spokane-Billings, Little Rock, Tulsa, Portland, Des Moines-Quad Cities, Salt Lake City, Oklah oma City, San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, New Orleans-Baton Rouge, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Denver, Birmingham, Indianapolis, San Antonio, Kansas City, Buffalo-Rochester, Nashville
AT&T Wireless PCS Inc.
Chicago, Detroit, Charlotte-Greensboro-Greenville-Raleigh, Boston-Providence, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Cincinnati-Dayton, St. Louis, Richmond-Norfolk, Puerto Rico-U.S. Virgin Islands, Louisville-Lexington-Evansville, Phoenix, Columbus, Knoxv ille, Omaha, Wichita, Washington-Baltimore, Cleveland, El Paso-Albuquerque, Buffalo-Rochester, Nashville
PCS PrimeCo, LP
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Orlando, Houston, Chicago, Richmond-Norfolk, Jacksonville, Honolulu, Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, New Orleans-Baton Rouge, Milwaukee, San Antonio, Dallas-Ft. Worth
Aerial Communications, Inc.
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Orlando, Houston, Alaska, Columbus, Guam-Northern Mariana Islands, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Pittsburgh, Kansas City
Pacific Telesis Mobile Services
Los Angeles-San Diego, San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose
Source: FCC Aggregation of PCS winning bidders 1997 and Kuruppillai 1997.
Sprint is by far the largest player in the market. Further, in a press release dated January 14, 1997, Sprint claimed that when adding licenses purchased by its affiliates in Sprint Spectrum and on its own in additional blocks, it is capable of achieving "an unprecedented wireless reach of nearly 260 million people" (Sprint 1997).
There are other significant players in the market, however. A well-known example is NextWave Personal Communications Inc. who purchased licenses for almost $4.8 Billion covering nearly 104 million pops in the "entrepreneurial" (a.k.a. "small" business) C Block.
According to the Yankee Group, by the end of the first half of 1997 about half the U.S. population will be "enjoying the fruits" of PCS competition in their market (The Yankee Group December 1996). Sprint had already launched in eight markets by mid Ja nuary 1997. It plans to continue its launches in stages and cover 65 cities in the first half of 1997 (Sprint 1997). Aerial intends to launch in six of its U.S. markets (Columbus, Houston, Kansas City, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Pittsburgh, and Tampa-St. Peter sburg-Orlando) in the first quarter of 1997 (WirelessNOW Big Retailers to sell PCS Handsets 1997).
2.6 Key points in this section
The key points raised in Section 2 are:
3. Wireless antennas and towers
Having examined the PCS technology and industry, the paper will now turn to a more detailed discussion of wireless antennas and towers. This section relies heavily on an issue paper prepared by the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDA G) titled "Wireless Communications Facilities Issue Paper" completed in December 1995 (SANDAG 1995).
There are three general types of transmitting and receiving antennas used for wireless communications: whip, panel and dish antennas. Whip and panel antennas are used to transmit and receive radio waves carrying communications to and from th e user. Dish antennas provide the link between the central computer switching system (e.g., in cellular the MTSO. See Figure 1 ) and the various whip and panel antennas.
Figure 4: Antennas
Source: SANDAG 1995.
Whip antennas (also known as stick, omnidirectional, or pipe antennas) emit signals in a 360 degree horizontal plane and a compressed vertical plane. Whip antennas are shaped cylindrically, have diameters between two and six inches, and measure between one and eighteen feet in height.
Panel antennas (also known as sector antennas) have vertical and horizontal planes that aim signals in specific directions. Panel antennas generally measure four to five feet in height, six to twelve inches in width, and six to eight inches in depth. < /P>
Dish antennas (also known as microwave dishes) emit microwaves that provide the link between the central computer switching system and the appropriate transmitting or receiving antennas. In essence, dish antennas send microwave signals that allow the c entral switch to transfer the call between the various antennas closest to the mobile user. Dish antennas generally measure four to six feet in diameter and one-and-a-half to three feet in depth.
Antenna structures are typically accompanied by equipment buildings or boxes. PCS equipment facilities, called base stations, are self-contained weather-proof cabinets about the size of a vending machine.
Typically, there are three types of antenna support structures used to place antennas at desired heights: lattice towers, monopoles, and building-attached facilities.
3.2 Lattice towers
Lattice towers range from 60 to 200 feet in height and generally accommodate a variety of wireless industry users, including cellular, specialized mobile radio (SMR), PCS and paging companies, as well as public safety communications provider s. Illustrated in Figure 4, these towers generally have three or four support steel "legs" and hold a variety of antennas. Lattice towers are often used where it is necessary that antennas be especially high, where multiple microwave antennas are required , or where the weather demands a structurally-sound design.
Lattice towers carry an inherent tradeoff. Although they can accommodate many users (and provide co-location opportunities, see section 6), they are visually very unappealing. Equipment and antennas concentrated on one large structure tend to draw more attention than the dispersal of less visible but more numerous facilities, such as smaller monopoles or building-attached facilities.
Figure 5: Lattice tower
Source: SANDAG 1995.
Monopoles range in height from 25 to 125 feet and consist of a single pole, approximately three feet in diameter at the base, narrowing to roughly 1.5 feet at the top. Monopoles may support any combination of whip, panel, or dish antennas. < /P>
Figure 6: Monopole
Source: SANDAG 1995.
Monopoles are generally used in rural areas, near freeways, or in areas where buildings are not of sufficient height to meet line of sight transmission requirements. In cellular, monopoles are used much more commonly than lattice towers. Monopol es in PCS systems can generally be shorter than those in cellular. Some PCS providers are proposing an integration of monopoles into existing light poles. Illustrated in Figure 6, this type of facility may be referred to as the "flower tower."
Figure 7: Flower tower
Source: SANDAG 1995.
3.4 Building-attached facilities
Building-attached facilities exist in two general forms: (1) roof-mounted, in which antennas are placed on the roofs of buildings, or (2) building-mounted, in which antennas are mounted to the sides of buildings. (Although not as common, fac ilities also can be mounted on other structures such as water tanks, billboards, church steeples, or other creative locations.)
Figure 8: Building attached facility
Source: SANDAG 1995.
Although the visibility of building-attached facilities varies, roof-mounted antennas are generally hidden from view because they are located in the middle of the roof or in boxed structures resembling air conditioning units. Likewise, building- mounted antennas are also unnoticeable if they are painted to match the color and texture of the building. Antennas that are architecturally integrated into a building are often referred to as "stealth facilities."
It is important to note that although building-attached facilities are becoming common, they can be used only when buildings meet the height required for antennas to function within the surrounding system. Where buildings do not meet height requirement s, providers tend to use monopoles.
3.5 Key points in this section
The key points in Section 3 are:
4. U. S. Federal Law and PCS
In this section the external mandates established by U.S. Federal Law relevant to wireless facilities sitings will be discussed.
4.1 The Telecommunications Act of 1996
The 1996 Telecommunications Act (the "Act"), passed by Congress and signed into law by the President on February 8, 1996, specifically addresses antenna and tower siting in Section 704 as follows:
SEC. 704. FACILITIES SITING; RADIO FREQUENCY EMISSION STANDARDS.
(a) NATIONAL WIRELESS TELECOMMUNICATIONS SITING POLICY- Section
332(c) (47 U.S.C. 332(c)) is amended by adding at the end the
following new paragraph:
`(7) PRESERVATION OF LOCAL ZONING AUTHORITY-
`(A) GENERAL AUTHORITY- Except as provided in this
paragraph, nothing in this Act shall limit or affect the
authority of a State or local government or instrumentality
thereof over decisions regarding the placement,
construction, and modification of personal wireless service
`(i) The regulation of the placement, construction,
and modification of personal wireless service
facilities by any State or local government or
`(I) shall not unreasonably discriminate among providers of
functionally equivalent services; and
`(II) shall not prohibit or have the effect of prohibiting the
provision of personal wireless services.
`(ii) A State or local government or instrumentality
thereof shall act on any request for authorization to
place, construct, or modify personal wireless service
facilities within a reasonable period of time after the
request is duly filed with such government or
instrumentality, taking into account the nature and
scope of such request.
`(iii) Any decision by a State or local government or
instrumentality thereof to deny a request to place,
construct, or modify personal wireless service
facilities shall be in writing and supported by
substantial evidence contained in a written record.
`(iv) No State or local government or instrumentality
thereof may regulate the placement, construction, and
modification of personal wireless service facilities on
the basis of the environmental effects of radio
frequency emissions to the extent that such facilities
comply with the Commission's regulations concerning
`(v) Any person adversely affected by any final
action or failure to act by a State or local government
or any instrumentality thereof that is inconsistent
with this subparagraph may, within 30 days after such
action or failure to act, commence an action in any
court of competent jurisdiction. The court shall hear
and decide such action on an expedited basis. Any
person adversely affected by an act or failure to act
by a State or local government or any instrumentality
thereof that is inconsistent with clause (iv) may
petition the Commission for relief.
`(C) DEFINITIONS- For purposes of this paragraph--
`(i) the term `personal wireless services' means
commercial mobile services, unlicensed wireless
services, and common carrier wireless exchange access
`(ii) the term `personal wireless service facilities'
means facilities for the provision of personal wireless
`(iii) the term `unlicensed wireless service' means
the offering of telecommunications services using duly
authorized devices which do not require individual
licenses, but does not mean the provision of
direct-to-home satellite services (as defined in
Notice the definition of "personal wireless services" in 47 U.S.C. §332(c)(7)(C)(i): "commercial mobile services, unlicensed wireless services, and common carrier wireless exchange access services." At this time this definition includes cellular, licen sed and unlicensed PCS, SMR and ESMR, but may include other services as they develop.
There are several key issues for states and local governments raised in Section 704. These are outlined in the sections below.
4.1.1 Siting authority
States and local governments maintain authority over siting decisions. There was a heated battle over this issue in the passage of the Act. Generally, industry lobbied Congress and the FCC heavily to preempt all local zoning and other regula tory authority over wireless facilities siting. Local governments and their associations were able to achieve the wording in 47 U.S.C. §332(c)(7)(A) as stated above, which maintains their authority.
This issue is by no means completely resolved. The Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) has recently filed a petition with the FCC requesting that it preempt State and local moratoria regulation, contending that this preemption is au thorized by the Act itself . While at this time it appears that the decision about whether State and local governments have violated the law in this regard is left to the courts, it also appears likely that if CTIA allegations are correct, the Wireless Te lecommunications Bureau of the FCC agrees that these governments are in violation of the law and will be happy to testify as an expert witness in the courts to that effect. The following is an excerpt from the Chief of the Wireless Telecommunications Bure au, Michele C. Farquhar, to the President and CEO of CTIA, Thomas E. Wheeler:
As you are aware, the Commission has requested public comment on CTIA’s petition for a declaratory ruling regarding Federal preemption of State and local moratoria on wireless facilities siting. Given the pendency of that proceeding, we believe it is a ppropriate for the Bureau to refrain from detailed comment at this time. We note, however, that a one-year moratorium such as the one you describe would appear to raise substantial questions under several provisions of Section 332(c)(7). First, especially to the extent that it prevents carriers even from filing applications for permits, the ordinance may effectively prohibit the provision of personal wireless services in violation of Section 332(c)(7)(B)(i)(II). Second, a moratorium such as the one you de scribes arguably unreasonably discriminates against new entrants into the personal wireless services market, in violation of Section 332(c)(7)(B)(i)(I). Finally, at least as applied to applications that were pending when the moratorium was enacted, the or dinance may violate the requirement of Section 332(c)(7)(B)(ii) that State and local governments must act on personal wireless service facility siting applications "within a reasonable time after the request is duly filed with such government or instrumen tality, taking into account the nature and scope of the request."
4.1.2 Discrimination, prohibition and timeliness
Farquhar’s letter points to three other issues raised in the law. State and local governments may not "unreasonably discriminate among providers of functionally equivalent services" nor may they "prohibit or have the effect of prohibiting th e provision of personal wireless services" and they must act on siting decisions "within a reasonable period of time." These issues bear some fleshing out.
The discrimination provision prohibits State and local governments from giving preferential treatment for antenna and tower sitings to one provider over another. This means that if six new PCS providers have licenses to provide service in a particular city, the government has to allow each to set-up their facilities in a reasonably similar manner. It also means that new entrants must be treated similarly to incumbents, i.e., to providers whose facilities are already in place.
The prohibition provision adds weight to the discrimination provision. It appears at this point that any actions by State and local governments that prevent siting from moving forward at all, such as preventing siting applications, may be interpreted a s having the effect of prohibiting the provision of personal wireless services.
At this time it appears that a "reasonable period of time" to act on siting decisions is less than a year, but how long can it be? The law itself is not clear, but some experience has begun to indicate what the FCC and industry is willing to accept. A representative from AT&T in a public forum held at the FCC on February 10, 1997 on wireless facilities siting issues indicated it would accept a six month "time-out" in some cases for a state or local government to get a process in place to handle sit ings. There appeared to be general, albeit conditional, agreement to this time frame from other industry representatives at the forum, although it was also indicated that this was only for setting up the process. Once a process was in place "90 days" was mentioned by an industry representative at an FCC forum as a reasonable expectation for turn-around time (FCC Public forum 1997).
The six-month time frame has some legal backing as well. The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington (State) upheld a six-month moratorium put into effect by the City of Medina in Sprint Spectrum LP v. City of Medina,1996 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6469, ruling that the city intended to process and approve applications once an ordinance was in place and that a temporary moratorium was an appropriate zoning tool under state law (Miller et al. 1996).
4.1.3 Environmental and health effects
In 47 U.S.C. §332(c)(7)(B)(iv) the law clearly prohibits any consideration of "environmental effects of radio frequency emissions" as long as the facilities comply with FCC guidelines based on IEEE and ANSI standards. This of course has not prevented the expression of much public concern to State and local governments by the public regarding detrimental health effects, due to electromagnetic fields and radio frequency radiation (see section 5.1.1). The FCC has provided a significant amount o f information to address these concerns. Nevertheless, this will remain an issue in many communities.
The current wireless licensing procedures used for PCS were authorized in 1993 in the "Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act". This Act authorized the FCC to use a competitive bidding procedure, which it claims simplified and speeded-up the proc ess, as well as raised a significant amount of money (more than $20 Billion was raised in the auctioning of PCS licenses). The FCC auctioned PCS licenses in a simultaneous multiple round auction, in which "all interdependent licenses [were] put up for bid at the same time, and bidders [had] the opportunity to bid on as many licenses as they desire[d] in successive discrete bidding rounds" (FCC Auctions Fact Sheet 1996). According to the fact sheet, the bidding remains open until there are no new valid bid s for any of the licenses. The FCC argues that this process gives bidders maximum information regarding the value of a license and allocates licenses to those who value them most highly. The PCS licensing process resulted in a relatively small number of l arge companies owning licenses for large areas of coverage, as demonstrated in section 2.5.
This process varies significantly from cellular license allocation (See Table 3), in which one license was granted to each local wireline phone company and the second was granted through a lottery process (MSAs-1984 and RSAs-1989). The end result was—a t least initially—highly fragmented areas of coverage and a large number of companies. Many of the lottery winners obtained licenses on a speculatory basis and were not interested in building or operating a cellular network in the least. This fragmentatio n has been reduced over time by some of the larger cellular companies, who have gone out and aggressively acquired cellular licenses, often in regional clusters. Additionally, many companies have formed alliances to increase their reach (Kuruppillai 1997) .
In addition to differing allocation processes, cellular and PCS licenses were given out for different areas of coverage. Cellular licenses were given out for 306 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) and 428 Rural Service Areas (RSAs) for a total of 73 4 cellular markets (based on 1980 census information, see Appendices). Each market was allocated two licenses. Since MSAs and RSAs are mutually exclusive geographically, no more than two cellular companies may offer service to any one region. Below is a c overage example for the Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN-WI MSA.
MSA 15. Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN-WI
Counties: Anoka, Carver, Chisago, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, Washington, Wright and St. Croix
PCS licenses, on the other hand, were allocated to 51 Major Trading Areas (MTAs) and 493 Basic Trading Areas (BTAs) as defined by Rand McNally in its 1992 Commercial Atlas and Marketing Guide (see Appendices for more detail). Two licenses were allocated to each MTA and four to each BTA. Since MTAs are made up of several BTAs, there is a potential for as many as six PCS licenses to be allocated to a given area in a region. The 30 MHz frequency Blocks A and B are licensed for use in MTAs, w hile the 30 MHz frequency Block C is licensed for use in BTAs. The 10 MHz D, E and F frequency blocks are also licensed on a BTA basis (see Tables 1 & 2). Eighteen bidders purchased licenses in the Block A and B auctions, 89 for the first round of the Block C auctions and 7 in the reauction (these licenses were reauctioned because of payment default by several winners in the initial round) and 125 in the D, E and F Blocks.
Below is an illustration of the coverage in the Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN MTA.
MTA 12. Minneapolis-St. Paul
BTAs: 1, 37, 45, 54, 113, 119, 123, 138, 142, 166, 199, 207, 277, 298, 299, 301, 378, 391, 422, 464, 476, 477, 481
BTAs and their counties: 001 - Aberdeen, SD-Brown, Campbell, Corson, Day, Dewey, Edmunds, Faulk, McPherson, Marshall, Potter, Spink, Walworth, Ziebach, 037 - Bemidji, MN-BeltraMI-Clearwater, Hubbard, 045 - Bismarck, ND-Adams, Burleigh, Emmons, G rant, Kidder, Logan, McIntosh, Mercer, Morton, Oliver, Sheridan, Sioux, 054 - Brainerd, MN-Aitkin, Cass, Crow Wing, 113 - Dickinson, ND-Billings, Bowman, Dunn, Golden Valley, Hettinger, Slope, Stark, 119 - Duluth, MN-Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, La ke, St.Louis, Ashland, Bayfield, Douglas, Price, Sawyer, 123 - Eau Claire, WI-Chippewa, Dunn, Eau Claire, Pepin, 138 - Fargo, ND-Becker, Clay, Mahnomen, Norman, Wilkin, Barnes, Cass, Dickey, Eddy, Foster, Griggs, LaMoure, Ransom, RichlaND-Sargent, Steele, Stutsman, Traill, 142 - Fergus Falls, MN-Douglas, Grant, Otter Tail, Pope, Stevens, Wadena, 166 - Grand Forks, ND-Kittson, Lake of the Woods, Marshall, Pennington, Polk, Red Lake, Roseau, Benson, Cavalier, Grand Forks, Nelson, Pembina, Ramsey, Towner, Wa lsh, 199 - Huron, SD-Beadle, Buffalo, HaND-Hughes, Hyde, Jerauld, Kingsbury, Stanley, Sully, 207 - Ironwood, MI-Gogebic, Ontonagon, Iron, 277 - Mankato-Fairmont, MN-Emmet, Blue Earth, Brown, Faribault, Le Sueur, Martin, Nicollet, Redwood, Sibley, Waseca, Watonwan, 298 - Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN-Anoka, Carver, Chisago, Dakota, Goodhue, Hennepin, Isanti, Kanabec, McLeod, Meeker, Mille Lacs, Pine, Ramsey, Rice, Scott, Steele, Washington, Wright, Barron, Burnett, Pierce, Polk, Rusk, St. Croix, Washburn, 299 - Minot, ND-Bottineau, Burke, Divide, McHenry, McLean, Mountrail, Pierce, Renville, Rolette, Ward, Wells, 301 - Mitchell, SD-Aurora, Brule, Charles Mix, Davison, Douglas, Gregory, Hanson, Hutchinson, Jones, Lyman, Mellette, Miner, Sanborn, Todd, Tripp, 378 - Rochester-Austin-Albert Lea, MN-Dodge, Fillmore, Freeborn, Mower, Olmsted, Wabasha, 391 - St. Cloud, MN-Benton, Morrison, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd, 422 - Sioux Falls, SD-Lyon, Brookings, Lake, Lincoln, McCook, Minnehaha, Moody, Turner, 464 - Watertown, SD-Big Stone, Lac qui Parle, Traverse, Clark, Codington, Deuel, Grant, Hamlin, Roberts, 476 - Williston, ND-McKenzie, Williams, 477 - Willmar-Marshall, MN-Chippewa, Kandiyohi, Lincoln, Lyon, Renville, Swift, Yellow Medicine, 481 - Worthington, MN-Dickins on, Osceola, Cottonwood, Jackson, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, Rock
4.3 Key points in this section
The key points in Section 4 are:
5. Key stakeholders and their issues
In this section the key stakeholder groups and their primary issues of concern in relation to the siting of wireless facilities will be examined.
The issues that primarily concern citizens are health concerns from emissions and aesthetic concerns that affect their quality of life as well as their property values. These two issues belong to a class often referred to as LULU (locally un wanted land use) or NIMBY (not-in-my-backyard) issues.
5.1.1 Health concerns
One issue the Federal Government has attempted to take off the table is a concern by citizens about the detrimental health effects caused by electromagnetic fields (EMFs) and radio frequency radiation (RFR). As section 4.1.3 shows, the FCC d oes not allow siting decisions to be affected by health concerns as long as the equipment complies with FCC guidelines. This has, of course, not prevented citizens from being concerned about health effects and raising this issue when sitings are proposed. There is an extensive body of literature regarding the health effects from EMFs and RFR, none of which has conclusively shown negative health effects. Cellular and PCS providers have done extensive public education in some areas to show that their facili ties do not have negative health effects. In West Hollywood, for example, a US West representative argued that the company’s typical antenna operates at roughly 100 watts—the power of a strong light bulb (Healey 1996).
Nevertheless, citizens remain concerned. The citizens of Medina, Washington, for example, complained of potential health effects despite their full awareness that such complaints were not allowed to affect siting decisions. Medina’s mayor Taylor testif ied in a forum at the FCC that it was his job to listen to these concerns and try to work with them in some fashion (FCC Public forum 1997). These were, after all, issues raised by his constituents. Some localities, such as San Francisco, require that pro viders submit to a process, potentially lasting more than a year, which ensures that it is in compliance with FCC guidelines (Radio Comm. Report 1996). So, while the law may prevent any siting considerations based on health effects, this issue does arise and can affect siting.
5.1.2 Aesthetics/property values
Another issue that citizens raise is that the aesthetic impact of antennas and towers, but especially towers, decreases their quality of life and potentially reduces their property values. Often the industry is able to get towers sited in re sidential areas despite these concerns on the grounds that it is necessary to place them in a specific location at a specific height for technical reasons. But there are often battles and communities often succeed in delaying the process, and the politica lly savvy even win at times. This was the case in the small community near Oquaga Lake, New York, which succeeded in blocking a potential tower siting for aesthetic reasons in a location near the lake and relocating it, at a much smaller height, to anothe r location (Martin 1995). Generally, the courts have found in favor of providers and communities usually do no more than delay the process (Martin 1995). However, it is important to keep in mind that even a short delay may be debilitating for a provider. If it does not meet its proposed roll-out schedule, customers may lose confidence and other providers may be able to grab market share before the entrant is able to get over the hurdles placed in its path.
The issue of antennas aesthetics is being addressed to some degree by technology. Several companies are developing camouflage technologies (often referred to as "stealth," see section 3.4) which effectively hide PCS antennas. These have helped to allev iate some community concerns, but they increase the cost of siting, and some providers balk at the increased cost. At an FCC forum, a representative from Pacific Bell Mobile Services claimed that camouflaging antennas increased siting costs by as much as three times (FCC Public forum 1997).
5.2 Consumers and businesses
Consumers and businesses who make use of or plan to make use of wireless services have an interest in the facilities being built that can deliver personal communications services. Localities that ignore developments in wireless communication are likely to be left behind in the information economy. Businesses will be less willing to be located in places where their employees and customers are not able to communicate and exchange information with the broad array of technologies on the market. These technologies are at the very least perceived to improve efficiency and assist in growth. Further, consumers who want wireless services may not be willing to locate in communities that do not have facilities, which could have the effect of driving do wn property values.
5.3 Private landowners
Private landowners have an interest in the construction of wireless facilities as a source of revenue. They may have an interest in leasing space to PCS providers to site their towers. These fees can be significant, as indicated by discussed leasing rates of $28,000 per month in a siting negotiation between the City of Minneapolis and two PCS providers (Diaz 1996).
5.4 PCS Providers
The issues that primarily concern PCS providers are external mandates from the Federal Government, technical feasibility and the speed of the local permitting process. Ultimately providers want to offer services to the market to begin to rec over their investment in PCS licenses and to compete for customers in the ever growing wireless arena.
5.4.1 External mandates
For each 30 MHz license, the FCC requires that PCS licensees have a signal level sufficient to provide service to at least one-third of the population in their licensed areas within five years of receiving the license. Two-thirds of the popu lation in the licensed areas must have service available to them within ten years. Failure to comply with these requirements will result in the permanent loss of a license (Kuruppillai 1997).
5.4.2 Technical feasibility
One key interest of the PCS provider is the construction of a network that will deliver quality services to its customers. According to a representative from Pacific Bell Mobile Services in an FCC Forum on wireless facilities sitings, when a PCS provider approaches a new market, it does the following:
This is a rough general sketch of PCS network design and site selection. Design and selection processes vary depending on the provider and the specific situation. Additional factors involved in the selection of ideal sites may include: surrounding topo graphy and its effects on line-of-sight capabilities; availability of road access, electric power, land-based telephone lines and/or microwave link capability; radio frequency interference; mechanical and electrical compatibility; structural capacity of t he supporting structure; and maximizing coverage of the desired area with the least number of sites; among others (SANDAG 1995).
5.4.3 Local permitting process
Local governments generally require that wireless providers undergo a process to obtain a permit for siting their communications facilities. To obtain these permits, providers have to comply with a number of physical and procedural restricti ons. In a fast-growth competitive industry such as wireless services, speed to market is of critical importance to providers. Thus, providers prefer that processes are expedited as much as possible. If local governments are not moving at a reasonable pace to accommodate the concerns of the provider, it is willing to apply pressure. The example of the CTIA petition requesting that the FCC preempt local moratoria regulation cited in section 4.1.1 is a prime example.
5.5 Local government
Local governments have three primary issues confronting them: mandates from the Federal Government; setting up a permitting process that is fair, equitable and balances the needs and interests of all concerned parties; and the pricing of pub lic property.
5.5.1 Mandates from the Federal Government
The mandates imposed upon local governments by the Federal Government were discussed extensively in section 4. While these are written to apply to the State and local government, in most—if not all states—they apply to the local governments. To summarize again, these are:
5.5.2 Due process
With all the controversy about siting issues, it is important that a permitting process be in place that is fair and equitable to all concerned parties. From a legal standpoint, there are two types of "due process" that apply specifically la nd use control issues such as wireless facilities siting—procedural and substantive due process. Procedural due process requires that proper notice is given (of meetings, sitings, etc.), adequate hearings are available and that issues such as siting decis ions are resolved in a reasonable amount of time. The intent is that the process is transparent and that there is an opportunity for input from all interested parties.
Substantive due process requires that a control or action has a rational relationship to a legitimate public purpose, i.e., the protection of public health, safety or general welfare. Second, the means used are necessary for the accomplishment of the p ublic purpose. Third, the control or action cannot be unduly oppressive on particular individuals, i.e., private individuals should not bear burden that should be shared by the public as a whole (Mandelker 1995).
Generally, citizens, consumers, businesses, landowners, local governments and providers all have an interest in the ultimate siting decisions made and need to have input to the process. Citizen concerns of health and aesthetics need to be balanced with provider concerns of timely processing and technical feasibility. Landowner concerns of unfair competition need to be balanced with local government concerns of site control and revenue generation. There are no easy answers to many of the issues facing l ocal governments and PCS providers and these can only be fully answered by processes that involve all participants and take place expeditiously. These types of process issues will be more fully addressed in section 6.
5.5.3 Pricing of public property
Often it is beneficial to site wireless facilities on public property. In these cases the local government faces the issue of how much it should charge for use of public property. This is often a contentious issue, with private landowners co mplaining of unfair competition, providers of the extraction of excess revenue by the city, and the public who claim the local government allowed the siting to add money to its coffers, ignoring their concerns. In the City of Minneapolis, for example, two applications being considered for siting on an historic water tower were to bring in a total of $28,000 a month (Diaz 1996). When considering use of public property, local governments should also be sure to address the costs of removal of obsolete wirele ss facilities. Additionally, local governments may want to take negative externalities into account, such as potential reductions in property value, aesthetic concerns and potential negative health effects.
5.6 State and federal government
The mandates imposed by the Federal Government on State and local governments, as well as the PCS providers, have already been discussed in sections 5.4.1 and 5.5.1. The FCC together with the courts are the primary interpretive and enforceme nt bodies of these mandates. As was mentioned in sections 4 and 5.5.1, the State and local governments are both addressed by Federal Regulation. However, to date it has been primarily the local governments who have controlled the siting processes. It is p ossible, though, that state governments could preempt local authority over siting decisions if they feel local governments are not carrying out the Federal mandates as they should. This has already been done in some states and is being considered in other s on the issue of rights-of-way.
5.7 Stakeholders relationships
Figure 9 below illustrates the key stakeholders and their relationships.
Figure 9: Stakeholders and their relationships
5.8 Key points in this section
Each stakeholder has their own set of issues.
6. Wireless facilities siting: process and output
In this section two elements of wireless facilities siting will be examined: process and output. Output refers to the ordinance and the individual sites selected/rejected. This section makes several recommendations for ordinances and site se lections that take into account the stakeholder issues discussed in section 5. An example of a model ordinance is presented that illustrates several of these recommendations. Process refers to both the creation of the ordinance and the individual siting d ecisions. Several process approaches are discussed. To illustrate these approaches, they are discussed in the context of specific cases. A model process is also presented and discussed in some detail.
6.1 A model ordinance
It should be clear from the discussion above that it will be necessary for a large number of local governments to create some kind of regulatory framework to address the siting of wireless facilities in their communities. One tool that would help local governments construct a regulatory framework that complies with Federal and State laws and addresses other stakeholder issues is a set of model regulations that could be modified and adapted to meet their specific needs. Such a model, if creat ed objectively, would be a compromise that fairly minimizes costs and maximizes benefits to all stakeholders. Three such models have been reviewed by this author. One well-written example is included in Appendix 11.3.
The use of a model ordinance as a framework is a good beginning. Rather than reinvent the wheel every time, it is useful for local governments to base their ordinances on models derived from the experiences of other communities. The model ordinance alo ne, however, is insufficient as a tool for creating an ordinance for several reasons.
Although the model ordinance approach will not be discussed extensively here, a list of several recommendations to local governments for ordinances compiled from several articles, forums and books is presented below. While by no means complete, this li st illustrates how a number of the stakeholder issues discussed above could be addressed in an ordinance. Pros and cons of several recommendations are discussed as well. Included in Appendix 11.3 is an example of a model ordinance that incorporates severa l of the recommendations below.
6.2 Creating the ordinance and selecting the sites
For problems such as wireless facilities siting that don’t have straightforward, correct answers—as most planning problems do not—it is important to utilize sound processes used to arrive at the end result. In this case, the end resul t is an ordinance covering general siting procedures, as well as the individual sites selected/rejected. Issues such as which stakeholders should be involved, at what stages in the process, and to what extent are important to consider in developing qualit y outcomes that are politically acceptable.
In the following discussion, the siting process is examined from the perspective of the local government and PCS provider. As shown in Figure 9, these two stakeholders are the focal points in the stakeholder array. The State and Federal Government stak eholders will be viewed primarily as external to the process, although their mandates and threats of preemption set the boundaries within which decisions are allowed. Other stakeholders (citizens, landowners, and consumers and businesses) should be consid ered internal participants in the processes.
One assumption is made throughout the discussion: that a goal of both the local government and the providers is to make PCS available, i.e., both stakeholders want to see the siting of towers and antennas in some fashion. Three relatively straight-forw ard approaches to working with issues such as the siting of wireless towers and antennas will be discussed first. Limitations of each of these approaches will be discussed at the end of the section.
6.2.1 Analyzing the stakeholders
Authors Nutt and Backoff argue that different strategies are necessary for dealing with different types of stakeholders. They characterize stakeholders on two dimensions, the relative importance of the stakeholder and their position on the p articular issue or proposal, i.e., do they support or oppose it. Each stakeholder or stakeholder group is characterized on these two dimensions and located in the matrix in Figure 10 below.
Figure 10: Interpreting the stakeholder
Source: Bryson 1995. Adapted from Nutt and Backoff 1992.
Nutt and Backoff argue that an examination of the stakeholders as located on the matrix will help determine: whether a winning coalition is possible, the likely size of the opposition coalition, and the neutral or "swing" stakeholders who might be targeted for special lobbying and influence efforts.
Nutt and Backoff offer several tactics for dealing with each of the categories of stakeholders in their matrix.
6.2.2 Addressing the citizen stakeholder
The issue of how local government should include the citizen in the process warrants special attention. An article by John Clayton Thomas addresses the question of how much public participation is desirable in government decision-making. Bor rowing from small group decision-making theory, he argues that "the degree of involvement desirable in making a decision depends on the attributes of the core problem; some problems demand more involvement, others less or none" (Thomas 1993). Generally, T homas argues that greater needs for public legitimacy require more involvement while greater needs for efficiency and technical competence require less. For purposes of his analysis, Thomas defines the relevant public as "all organized or unorganized grou ps of citizens or citizen representatives who (a) could provide information useful in solving the issue or (b) could otherwise affect the ability to implement the eventual decision" (Thomas 1993).
Thomas illustrates a range of decision-making models used in his analysis as shown below. The models have been modified slightly for purposes of this discussion. The numbers associated with each are relevant to the decision tree in Figure 11 below.
Thomas then constructs the "Effective Decision Model of Public Involvement" shown in Figure 11 below. Thomas argues that if decisions are made consistent with the models’ framework, they will be more effective. Effectiveness is defined on two dimension s:
Thomas tests his model using fairly extensive case analyses and the results generally support his theory.
Figure 11: The Effective decision model of public involvement
Source: Thomas 1993.
6.2.3 Addressing LULU/NIMBY issues
Susskind and Cruikshank recommend using a consensus-based approach to working on what are often referred to in the literature as "locally unwanted land uses" (LULUs) or "not in my back yard" (NIMBY) issues, of which the antennas and tower si ting issue is certainly an example. They base their argument on the relative ineffectiveness of lesser methods. The authors argue that preemptive authoritarian actions usually generate strong opposition, stating that "the laws of public policy making tend to parallel the laws of physics: for every imposed action, there is an equal and opposite reaction" (Susskind and Cruikshank 1991). They argue that compromise also leads to less than satisfactory results, since in compromise each party has to give up som ething and solutions often barely meet stakeholders’ acceptable minimums.
Susskind and Cruikshank instead recommend "negotiated approaches to consensus building" and cite that although they are challenging, they have worked effectively in a number of situations. According to the authors, elements of consensus building includ e: "informal, face-to-face interaction among specially chosen representatives of all ‘stakeholding groups’; a voluntary effort to seek ‘all-gain’ rather than ‘win-lose’ solutions or watered-down political compromise; and, often, the assistance of a neutra l facilitator or mediator" (Susskind and Cruikshank 1991).
If done right, consensus-based approaches result in good outcomes. The authors argue that the better the process, the better the outcomes. In their view, four elements of a good outcome are: fairness, efficiency, wisdom and stability.
Although the authors argue that consensus-based approaches result in better outcomes, they recommend using them as supplements—not alternatives—to conventional decision-making, arguing that "[o]fficials with statutory power must retain their authority in order to ensure accountability" (Susskind and Cruikshank 1991).
6.2.4 Limitations of the approaches
While each of the approaches discussed above adds insight into the siting process, they are all limited in some fashion and do not provide definitive approaches to solving wireless facilities siting problems.
Each of the approaches is subjective in nature. It is difficult, for example, to be sure in using Nutt and Backoff’s approach how to decide if a stakeholder is important or not. Indeed, in some cases this may not be possible until after the fact, when the issue is lost. Answering the questions in Thomas’ Effective decision model of public involvement (see Figure 11) is equally difficult. Different individuals will answer the questions in different ways, and even the same individual may answer a questio n one way one day and another the next. Susskind and Cruikshank leave perhaps the largest number of questions open to interpretation. What is an open process? How long does a process have to take before it is inefficient?
Nutt and Backoff and Thomas recommend a troubling degree of stakeholder manipulation. Consideration must be given to the ethical implications of applying their methods, for in many cases stakeholders are purposefully left out of a process. It would be all to easy using Thomas approach, for example, to keep processes consistently closed because of "quality" constraints. But time and time again in public decision-making, what in the beginning appeared to be absolute requirements for a decision, were modi fied or changed in ways that improved the overall "quality" of the final decision.
There are likely to be practical consequences of manipulating stakeholders in the ways Nutt and Backoff and Thomas suggest. In dynamic environments, stakeholders once manipulated are likely to seize their first opportunity to attempt to block action in the future. Thus PCS providers and local governments who manipulate citizens in one siting attempt may find themselves faced with stronger opposition in future sitings.
The primary limitation of the Susskind and Cruikshank approach is that consensus building can be extremely complex and time consuming. This can be a problem in an industry as fast paced as wireless is today. The speed of change is challenging local gov ernment in a number of areas today and it is not clear how to best balance efficiency with fairness.
The role of information is vital. However, "expert" information paid for by one of the "sides" is not always deemed legitimate by stakeholders. Finding unbiased sources of information is becoming an increasing challenge.
6.3 Applying the process approaches
In this section the approaches discussed above are applied to the wireless facilities siting situations. To further illustrate elements of each approach, examples are used throughout the discussion. At the end of the section, a model is pres ented for creating the regulatory framework and selecting/rejecting individual sites.
Nutt and Backoff’s simple two-dimensional framework offers a recommendation for how to work with stakeholders depending on whether they are on your side and whether they are important. The tactics the authors recommend can generally be described as rei nforcing the beliefs of supporters and including them in the process, while countering the beliefs of antagonists and keeping them out of the process. According to this argument, the amount of effort exerted by local governments and PCS providers on stake holders should decline as the relative importance of the stakeholder declines.
An example of the use of this approach is the Cellular Telephone Industry Association’s attempt to convince the FCC to preempt local authority over zoning (see above). PCS providers are also lobbying several state governments to do the same. This tacti c appears to be successful to the extent that it strengthens the threat of external intervention if local governments do not reasonably handle siting issues. As a result, several local governments, including members of the Minneapolis City Council, have c ited the need to comply with federal mandates (DeSilver 1996).
6.3.1 The Tower at Oquaga Lake
Another, less successful example from the point of view of the provider, is the case of the tower at Oquaga Lake near the rural village of Deposit in Sanford, New York. Contel, a subsidiary of GTE Corporation, planned to site a tower on a hi ll about 300 feet above and overlooking Oquaga Lake. The tower was to be located on a piece of property owned by one of the largest landowners in town, who stood to make $600 per month for the lease of his property.
There are about 150 residences around the lake, most of them used exclusively as summer cottages. Most of the residences are owned by people living in nearby Binghamton, but some come from as far away as Michigan. Notice was given in the legal section Deposit Courier on December 28, 1994 of a public hearing to be held on January 12 regarding the tower. By chance, one part-time town resident read the notice and alerted the president of the Oquaga Lake Improvement Association. Several residents at tended the hearing and voiced their concerns. After the meeting, the residents met with other town residents, several of whom were lawyers, engineers and locally well-known businesspeople and professionals, and pulled together information supporting their concerns.
The local zoning authority was asked by Contel to defer a decision until March. In the meantime, Contel announced a date when it would raise a balloon on the proposed site to give people an idea of how high it would be. When the residents arrived at th e appointed time; however, Contel representatives informed them the balloon had already been raised and taken down. At the next zoning authority meeting, Contel requested and received approval with no opposition for a 160 foot tower at a site some distanc e from Oquaga Lake (Martin 1995).
This case illustrates how trying to keep antagonistic stakeholders out of the process—as Nutt and Backoff recommend—through strategic timing and misinformation can backfire. Thomas’ discussion offers some insight into why this might be the case. Applyi ng Thomas’ view as discussed above, in cases where the local government and PCS provider have sufficient information and either public acceptance of the decision is not necessary or is a given, no public participation is necessary and an autonomous decisi on can be made. This does not appear to have been the case in the Oquaga Lake case. Clearly, local government did not have sufficient information and public acceptance was necessary. Thus some degree of citizen involvement in the process was necessary. Wh ile it is clear that efficiency and technical competence were important in this case, it is also evident that they were not initially balanced with the degree of public legitimacy necessary to make a successful decision.
In this case, Contel did not get its preferred location, despite its arguments that the site was the only technically feasible one in the area. Further, the siting process took much longer than Contel would have liked, and Contel sacrificed its legitim acy with the local citizenry in the process. This latter issue may be significant in the future, since with the site’s less than optimal location Contel may have to build additional sites in the area in the near future. As a result of its previous actions , Contel is likely to encounter opposition from local residents when adding new sites.
It is important that wireless providers recognize that they need to establish long-term relationships with communities. As illustrated in section 2.2.2, as the demand for wireless services grows, the initial "coverage" sites will need to be added to by "capacity" sites to continue to provide quality service. Wireless companies can thus ill afford to ramrod their sites into a community.
6.3.2 Information and planning
According to Susskind and Cruikshank the availability of relevant information to all parties is vital to a fair and wise outcome. One tactic several local governments have pursued to improve their access to information is to re quire PCS providers to submit "master plans" annually in advance. This requirement gives local governments a chance to review and discuss plans in advance rather than reacting to apparently disjointed and often unexpected individual siting applications. T his advance planning also helps to spread out the decision-making so that a "flood" of applications aren’t received all at once. Being unprepared for the "flood" has resulted in the establishment of siting moratoria by many local governments.
One case in point occurred in the City of Minneapolis in 1996. City Council Member Pat Scott said of the moratorium the Council passed after receiving a large number of siting applications "We’re not that well prepared for the deregulation that has occ urred, and we didn’t have a strategy laid out to deal with the multiple requests we were getting" (DeSilver 1996).
A San Franciscan wireless consultant agrees that advance information and planning is necessary:
PCS carriers breeze into communities without first educating local citizens and planning commissions about PCS. They’re floored when overcome with the crush of opposition from residents who don’t want antennas on or near their property and fear the str uctures pose a public health risk. ‘What we are doing is reactive, not proactive,’ said Gregory Sweet, an antenna siting consultant in San Francisco. Sweet said he believes local officials, besieged with applications from wireless carriers and other telec ommunications services providers, panic and call for moratoriums (Radio Comm. Report 1996).
These examples argue for PCS providers helping to prepare local governments by making more information available up front. This will give local governments a chance to plan ahead, which should expedite the revision of ordinances and ultimately the siti ng decisions.
The provision of information in advance should extend to citizens as well. In many cases it does. In conversations with planning consultants and wireless companies at the 1997 APA National Conference and with neighborhood organizations in Minneapolis, the author was told that neighborhood organizations are contacted in advance and notified of requests for siting in their neighborhoods. Information packets are provided and provider representatives make presentations and answer questions at community mee tings. These tactics help the citizens feel they are operating with good information and help develop good faith relationships.
But the overwhelming provision of expert information is not necessarily the way to proceed. In a sample of magazine articles from Lexis-Nexis, the author read examples of a number of unsuccessful cases of cellular and PCS providers bringing in experts to testify and help them obtain their sites. Engineers testified before local governments and the public to explain why their antennas needed to be sited at certain locations and how there is no indication of negative health effects from their facilities, lawyers illustrated how the local government needs to move quickly and give the provider what it wants to comply with the law, and economists testified that it has been shown in other communities that tower sitings do not reduce property values. But many local governments and citizens did not trust this testimony, viewing with suspicion the hired consultants brought in by PCS providers, and fought the sitings anyway.
6.3.3 Applying the consensus-based approach
Instead of relying on external pressure, simple one-way information transfer through overwhelming expert testimony, or stakeholder manipulation, Susskind and Cruikshank argue for broad, inclusive stakeholder involvement. The authors make a c ase that stakeholder participation is an important element of whether an outcome is successful. More than simple acceptability; however, the authors argue that broader involvement leads to higher quality ("wise") solutions that are enduring ("stable").
San Franciscan wireless consultant Sweet agrees. He argues that wireless providers should spend more time meeting with zoning boards and residents and participating in two-way communication and information sharing. He sees this as especially important, since it is likely providers will have to return to the same communities again and request additional sites. Thus, it is important that relationships are genuine and long-lasting (Radio Comm. Report 1996).
Susskind and Cruikshank discuss tactics for working with stakeholders primarily in the context of "fairness." They argue that the process should be open with numerous opportunities for stakeholders to participate and express their views. They also argu e that stakeholders be given adequate availability of technical information and that stakeholder representatives be accountable to their constituencies. Finally, the authors recommend that there be opportunities for due process complaints. A good approach to developing a fair solution is to give each stakeholder some responsibility for making a solution work.
Broad participation and consensus style approaches of this type are already found in most community or regional comprehensive planning processes. Adding wireless facilities siting issues to this planning process is an excellent example of applying the type of approach recommended by Susskind and Cruikshank. Minnesota cities, especially in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area, have an excellent opportunity to do this as the revise their comprehensive plans over the next year and a half. Communities that ar e not currently undergoing comprehensive planning processes may consider setting up a specific telecommunications planning processes addressing wireless issues, rights-of-way and other issues relevant to their community.
In line with Susskind and Cruikshank’s recommendations, however, is important to consider efficiency in balance with broad participation. Decisions need to be reached in a reasonable period of time. This is especially important in the wireless industry , when time to market is one of the major factors in the success of a business. In PCS, time literally is money. Comprehensive planning processes are likely to produce better solutions in the long-run, but in the short-term communities faced with i mmediate siting requests need to accommodate providers in siting their facilities. If ordinances need to be updated or new regulations written, it remains crucial that information be exchanged and communication take place with all stakeholders to the exte nt possible. This may occur through such means as written comments, phone conversations, meetings, public hearings, e-mail lists and web sites, to name a few possibilities.
6.3.4 A model for creating the regulatory framework and site selection/rejection
In this section, models are presented for the creation of a regulatory framework and the selection/rejection of individual sites.
126.96.36.199 Creation of the regulatory framework
With some modifications, the consensus approach presented by Susskind and Cruikshank above appears to apply best to the creation of a regulatory framework. The exact approach depends on the individual community:
188.8.131.52 Administrative review process
There are a number of possible ways to handle individual site selection/rejection, but in standard zoning practice and wireless facilities zoning specifically—as illustrated in the model ordinance presented in Appendix 11.3—individual si ting requests are usually addressed by two broad types of processes depending on their classification: sites permitted outright subject to an administrative review process and sites possibly permitted but subject to a discretionary review process. As will be shown in the discussion below, dividing sites into these two types of process classes is supported by the Thomas model.
The former are the "desirable" sites that stakeholders were able to agree are generally acceptable when they created the ordinance. These types of sites usually must meet certain general performance criteria and are most often unobtrusive structures su ch as stealth sites mounted on building facades or those located in industrial areas where aesthetics are less of an issue (See Articles 4 and 5 in Appendix 11.3). Administrative review processes are usually very straightforward. The provider is often req uired to submit a permit application indicating that the specified criteria have been met, the zoning administrator then examines the application and if everything is in order, approves the permit. Local government processing time is also generally very s hort. The City of Minneapolis Ordinance, for example, specifically states that "the zoning administrator in consultation with the planning director shall have up to ten (10) working days following submittal of a completed application for administrative re view."
An examination of Thomas’ Effective decision model of public involvement (see Figure 11) supports the use of the "autonomous decision"-making process, in which the local government and PCS provider make a decision without additional input from stakehol ders. Provided that each was honest to the other, the local government and PCS provider have sufficient information to make a quality decision. The provider should be made aware of all process and substance requirements for administrative review and the l ocal government should be provided with a completed application addressing these requirements. Provided the public and other stakeholders have participated in the creation of the ordinance, their acceptance is not critical to this decision. In essence, th ey have already given it by nature of creating the classification in the first place.
Incorporating both the PCS provider and the local government processes together, the process model is the following:
184.108.40.206 Discretionary review process
The second are those that may be permitted, but require closer scrutiny relative to the specifics involved. These sites must generally meet more stringent criteria, such as lower height limitations for towers. But must importantly, discr etionary review processes are more open and allow input from interested stakeholders.
Again, an examination of Thomas’ model (see Figure 11) supports the use of an open discretionary review process as specifically applied in the ordinances reviewed by this author. In this case, the local government and PCS provider do not yet have suffi cient information (they are lacking input from stakeholders). The answer to the question "is the problem structured such that alternative solutions are not open to redefinition" is no. In this case, public and other stakeholder acceptance of the decision is crucial. It is not certain, or even likely, that if the local government and PCS provider decide alone that the public and other stakeholders will accept the decision. In most cases it is probably not true that the public and other stakeholders who wil l turn out to participate share the local government and PCS provider goals (which are to provide service in some fashion). These answers to the questions in Thomas’ decision tree lead to the use of the "unitary public consultation" model, in which the lo cal government and PCS provider share the problem with the public as a single assembled group, getting ideas and suggestions, then make a decision that reflects group influence. This reflects the public hearing process conducted in most communities for di scretionary processes.
Based on the evaluation of process approaches discussed above, however, this author recommends consideration of elements of Susskind and Cruikshank’s broad participation consensus approach. Stakeholder participation should be allowed on a more equal le vel than that recommended by Thomas to improve the quality of the decision to the extent time permits (efficiency). This will improve the fairness, wisdom and stability of the decision.
Incorporating both the PCS provider and the local government processes together, the process model is the following:
6.4 Key points in this section
The key points in this section are.
The siting of PCS antennas and towers is a complex issue arena. This paper has given an overview of the PCS technology and industry, provided a detailed discussion of wireless antennas and towers, discussed what is proscribed and permitted b y U.S. Federal Law, given an overview of the key stakeholders and their issues, and, finally, examined model ordinances and processes that can be of assistance to PCS providers and local government in the siting of wireless facilities.
The result is, hopefully, a timely document that can be used by PCS providers and local governments to better understand the issues faced by the other and arrive at solutions that work for both parties. In addition to clarifying the issues involved in wireless facilities siting, this paper has shown that if proper attention is paid to designing processes for creating regulatory frameworks and making individual siting decisions that are open and consensus based, quality, long-lasting and fair solutions can be achieved.
8. Summary of key points
For the convenience of the reader, the key points from each section are compiled below.
9. Glossary of terms
The definitions in this section are intended to reflect the specific usage of the terms in this paper.
Anything whose behavior corresponds with the behavior of something else, especially if the correspondence varies continuously rather than in steps. For example, the height of the liquid in a thermometer is an analog of the temperature. The sign
als that go from a computer to a composite monitor are analog voltages. (from the Gateway 2000 Glossary,
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has served in its capacity as administrator and coordinator of the United States private sector voluntary standardization system for 78 years. Founded in 1918 by five engineering societies and th ree government agencies, the Institute remains a private, nonprofit membership organization supported by a diverse constituency of private and public sector organizations. (from the ANSI web site, Available: http://www.ansi.org)
A structure or device used for the purpose of collecting or transmitting electromagnetic waves, including but not limited to directional antennas, such as panels, microwave dishes, and satellite dishes, and omnidirectional antennas, such as whi
p antennas (City of Bloomington Ordinance,
Locating wireless facilities of more than one company on one location.
Operating in discrete units or steps. Not continuous. Since microcomputers operate using discrete voltages and timing pulses, they are said to be digital. Usually contrasted with analog.
(from the Gateway 2000 Glossary, Available: http://www.gw2k.com/support/custserv/glossary/a.htm)
An antenna or array of antennas that concentrates a radio signal in a particular direction.
An concave antenna used to link wireless facilities sites together by transmission of voice, data, etc.. Also called a microwave antenna or microwave dish antenna.
Electromagnetic Field: The local and magnetic fields that envelope the surrounding space. The most ubiquitous source of EMFs is from the movement and consumption of electric power, such as with transmission lines, household appliances and light ing (SANDAG 1995).
Enhanced Specialized Mobile Radio
The number of cycles completed in a period of time by a sound wave, generally measured in cycles per second (hertz or Hz).
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is the world’s largest technical professional society. Founded in 1884 by a handful of practitioners of the new electrical engineering discipline, today’s Institute is comprised of mo re than 320,000 members who conduct and participate in its activities in 147 countries. The men and women of the IEEE are the technical and scientific professionals making the revolutionary engineering advances which are reshaping our world today. (from t he IEEE web site, Available: http://www.ieee.org)
A structure which is generally open and has three or four support steel "legs" and holds a variety of antennas.
Locally unwanted land use.
One million cycles per second (1,000,000 Hz), a measure of frequency.
Electromagnetic radiation with frequencies higher that 1,000 MHz; highly directional signal used to transmit radio frequencies from point-to-point at a relatively low power level.
Also known as dish antennas, these antennas emit microwaves that provide the link between the central computer switching system and the appropriate transmitting or receiving antennas in wireless networks.
A structure composed of a single spire used to support communications equipment.
Not in my backyard.
An antenna transmitting and receiving signals in all directions.
An antenna or array of antennas designed to concentrate a radio signal in a particular area. Panel antennas are typically flat, rectangular devices approximately six feet in size. Also called directional antennas (SANDAG 1995).
personal communications services
personal wireless services
According to 47 U.S.C. §332(c)(7)(C)(i) these are "commercial mobile services, unlicensed wireless services, and common carrier wireless exchange access services." At this time this definition includes cellular, licensed and unlicensed PCS, and SMR, but may include other services as they develop.
Radio Frequency Radiation: Electromagnetic radiation in the portion of the spectrum from 3 kHz to 300 GHz (SANDAG 1995).
Specialized Mobile Radio. According to the FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Land Mobile Branch web site, "The Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR) service was first established by the Commission in 1979 to provide land mobile communications on
a commercial (i.e., for profit) basis. A traditional SMR system consists of one or more base station transmitters, one or more antennas, and end user radio equipment that usually consists of a mobile radio unit either provided by the end user or obtained
from the SMR operator for a fee."
The placement of a wireless communication facility (primarily a tower or an antenna) at a particular location.
In his book, Strategic Planning for Public and Nonprofit Organizations, Bryson defines a stakeholder as "any person, group, or organization that can place a claim on an organization’s attention, resources, or output or is affected by tha t output."
Any communications facility which is designed to blend into the surrounding environment. Examples of stealth facilities may include architecturally screened roof-mounted antennas, building-mounted antennas painted to match the existing structur e, antennas integrated into architectural elements, and antennas structures designed to look like light poles. Also called concealed antennas (SANDAG 1995).
unlicensed wireless services
According to 47 U.S.C. §332(c)(7)(C)(iii) these are defined as "the offering of telecommunications services using duly authorized devices which do not require individual licenses; direct-to-home satellite services are excluded from this definit ion."
A ground or roof mounted pole, spire, structure or combination thereof taller than 15 feet, including supporting lines, cables, wires, braces, and masts, intended primarily for the purpose of mounting an antenna, meteorological device, or simil
ar apparatus (City of Bloomington Ordinance,
An antenna that transmits signals in 360 degrees. Whip antennas are typically cylindrical in shape and are less than six inches in diameter and measure up to 18 feet in height. Also called omnidirectional, stick or pipe antennas.
wireless (communications) facilities
Towers, antennas and equipment used to provide personal wireless services.
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10.1 Ordinances, regulations and policies reviewed
10.1.1 Model ordinances
League of Minnesota Cities. 1995. Model telecommunications permit ordinance.
Miller Nash Attorneys at Law. 1997. Concept ordinance for local regulation of wireless communication facilities.
Thompson. 1997. Model wireless facilities ordinance.
10.1.2 City ordinances, regulations and policies
City of Bloomington, MN. Revised 1996. Selected ordinance provisions pertaining to towers.
City of Bloomington, MN. Adopted 1996. Policy statement regarding the use of City owned land for wireless telecommunication antennas and towers.
City of Cupertino, CA. Enacted 1996. An ordinance of the City Council of the City of Cupertino amending Chapter 19.108 television and radio aerials, of the Cupertino Municipal Code: Wireless communications facilities.
City of Eugene, OR. 1997. Tiered review process for telecommunications facilities.
City of Eugene, OR. Approved 1997. An ordinance concerning telecommunication facilities; adding section 9.900 to the Eugene Code, 1971; and declaring an emergency.
City of Gastonia, NC. 1996. An ordinance amending the zoning ordinance of the City of Gastonia to establish a new subsection for combined communication towers and for providing a definition thereof.
City of Minneapolis, MN. Amended 1996. Amending Title 20, Chapter 522 of the Minneapolis Code of Ordinances relating to zoning code.
City of Oakland, CA. 1995. Abbreviated telecommunications land use ordinance.
City of Petaluma, CA. Created 1996-1997. Telecommunications ordinance adoption process.
City of San Diego, CA. Draft 1997.
City of San Francisco, CA. 1996. Wireless telecommunications services (WTS) facilities siting guidelines.
City of Sonoma, CA. Adopted 1996. An ordinance establishing regulations and standards for the processing of applications for personal communications services (PCS) and cellular telephone facilities and related telecommunications facilities at si tes in the City of Sonoma.
County of Napa, CA. 1996. An ordinance …to provide a uniform and comprehensive scheme for regulation of the development of telecommunications facilities and the installation of minor antennas within the county.
11.1 Determination of cellular MSA/RSA markets and counties
Report No. CL-92-40-A
In order to consolidate information, this public notice is issued to provide a listing of all cellular markets with the appropriate counties involved. The list was compiled from the 1980 US Census and various public notices.
Source: FCC 1992.
11.2 Determination of PCS BTAs and MTAs
Report No. CW-94-02
September 22, 1994
This public notice is issued to provide a comprehensive listing, including counties, of all PCS Basic Trading Areas (BTAs) and Major Trading Areas (MTAs).
The BTA service areas are based on the Rand McNally 1992 Commercial Atlas & Marketing Guide, 123rd Edition, at pages 38-39, with the following additions:
American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Mayagüez/Aguadilla-Ponce, Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin Islands are licensed separately as BTA-like areas.
The MTA service areas are based on the Rand McNally 1992 Commercial Atlas & Marketing Guide, 123rd Edition, at pages 38-39, with the following exceptions and additions:
Source: FCC 1994.
11.3 Model wireless facilities siting ordinance
For a well-written model ordinance, see:
Thompson, Timothy J. 1997. Meeting the challenges of zoning in the information age: Planning for wireless communications facilities. Unpublished Thesis, Department of Urban Planning, Ball State University, Indiana [On-line].
Available: http://bsuvc.bsu.edu/~02tjthompson/thesis.htm (read 5/13/97).
Source: Thompson 1997.