VOL. 17 ISSUE NO. 3   | JANUARY 19 – 25, 2011


Carefree to hold joint workshop on distributed antenna systems

Federal law ‘clearly prohibits’ towns from regulating wireless installations based on perceived health risks

CAREFREE – Town council and the planning commission will be holding a joint work study session beginning at 5 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 24 concerning distributed antenna systems (DAS).

During its last meeting, council voted to engage the services of Christine Malone, an expert in the field of DAS technology, and Attorney Ken Brunetti, an expert in the field of wireless communications and DAS law.

Because NewPath Networks, recently acquired by Crown Castle USA, Inc., is currently going through the application process, council and staff did not feel adequately prepared to answer citizens’ questions regarding health concerns and legal obligations concerning DAS.

The workshop is open to the public where Malone and Brunetti will provide background on DAS and field questions from council, the planning commission and citizens.

NewPath/Crown Castle has previously indicated to council it does not provide mobile communication service, only the infrastructure for mobile communication carriers, such as AT&T.

However DAS providers obtain a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity from the Arizona Corporation Commission Utilities Division for the purpose of constructing facilities and offering telecommunications services for hire to the public.

A recent federal court decision dismissing the Merrick Gables Homeowners Association (Hempstead, New York) complaint against NextG Networks, Inc., stated federal law “clearly prohibits” towns from regulating wireless installations based on perceived health risks associated with radio frequency emissions.

In rejecting the HOA’s nuisance allegation over NextG’s installation, the court stated the Telecommunications Act was passed to create a national framework to accelerate the deployment of wireless telephone technology, and concluded NextG’s network could not then be considered a nuisance if the congressional intent was to promote the installation of such wireless networks.

As independent third-party advisors, Brunetti and Malone will share their expertise on the law and health risks, if any, associated with DAS.

readers love sonoran news