Cuomo Would Let State, Not Localities, Decide Siting of Wireless Antennas

Mar. 12, 2018
The debate over how to regulate the future of wireless infrastructure is playing out locally and across the country. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
The debate over how to regulate the future of wireless infrastructure is playing out locally and across the country.

Who controls where wireless providers may install the antennas that connect cellphones to the internet?

Right now in New York, that decision is made on a case-by-case basis by cities, towns and villages. But that may change, if one of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s budget proposals passes in the Legislature.

The bill would wrest control over public rights-of-way away from local governments in favor of a uniform permit and review process across the state.

That has critics of the rapid installation of new wireless infrastructure warning that Albany has overreached in a state where localities get to decide how their public land is used.

“The only things residents will get out of this bill is lower property values, visual blight, and a front-row seat to unregulated, mass proliferation of wireless infrastructure in their town,” Alissa Shields, an Amherst environmental activist, told the Amherst Town Board last week.
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