US Federal Legislation on 5G Small Cells: Take Action To Halt Deployment of 5G Small Cells In Your Front Yard


United States Federal Legislation on 5G Small Cells

TAKE ACTION on Legislation stripping the community right to decision making on wireless facilities

This page lists current federal legislation moving forward regarding 5G and the Internet of Things.

Take action to protect your community by contacting your federal elected officials today. Set up meetings with your  elected officials at the local state and federal level calling on them to protect the public. These rules are moving forward at a rapid pace in Congress and at the FCC. Letters and emails are not good enough. We recommend you organize your local community by educating citizens and getting emails lists together so you can email out “Take Action” steps. Then set up meetings in person and have the group follow up with emails in support. 

Click here to see FACTSHEETS on 5G Small Cells. 

Please pick up the phone and contact your representatives now. 


S. 1988 : “A bill to streamline broadband infrastructure permitting on established public rights-of-way, and for other purposes.”
This Bill exempts most of these new wireless antennas from environmental reviews. 
“Exempt telecommunications infrastructure from environmental and historic reviews by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and other federal agencies in a public ROW if previously installed telecommunications infrastructure has already undergone environmental and historic reviews for the same public ROW. Any provider exempted from these reviews must still comply with the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Historic Preservation Act”

“Exempt the deployment of small cells from environmental and historical reviews only if 1) they are being deployed in a public ROW and are not higher than an existing structure in the public ROW; and 2) they are serving as a replacement for an existing small cell and they are the same or substantially similar to the small cell that is being replaced;

“Exempt the deployment of wireless services (e.g. voice, video, or data) from environmental and historical reviews if 1) they are located in an existing public ROW and 2) adhere to tower height and guy wire requirements;

News articles about the S. 1988


S 19: The MOBILE NOW Act “Making Opportunities for Broadband Investment and Limiting Excessive and Needless Obstacles to Wireless Act”

S 19 lays the foundation for 5G Network that will require the build out of millions of small cell transmitters in neighborhoods.  These transmitters will be put in public right of ways exempt from environmental, health or safety review.  


S 88: The DIGIT Act

“This bill expresses the sense of Congress that policies governing the Internet of Things (IoT) should maximize the potential and development of the growing number of connected and interconnected devices to benefit businesses, governments, and consumers.”

Federal legislation S 19 and S 88 would preempt local zoning rights and streamline the deployment of “small cells.”  Both the S 19 and S 88 have passed the Senate and are on their way to the House. Please contact your elected representatives and ask that they halt these bills.


Airwaves Act S.1682

The Airwaves Act has also been introduced into the senate.  It releases additional spectrum for 5G, promotes complete broadband coverage, proposes to use a portion of spectrum auction money to fund small cell transmitters in RURAL areas. Here is an article about the bill: Hassan, Gardner AIRWAVES Act Earns Praise Across Industries and Political Parties


HR 3388 Self Drive Act

This Act is in the Senate which will put 8 radar transmitters on every self driving car using 70 Ghz frequency.

October 2017 Bills 

HR 3895 Smart Cities and Communities Act, was introduced in the House of Representatives on October 2nd, 2017 by Rep. Suzanne K. BelBene and Rep. Ben Ray Lujan.  Purpose: “To promote the use of smart technologies and systems in communities and for other purposes.”

HR 3901 Moving FIRST Act 
Representatives on October 2nd, 2017 by Rep. Mark DeSaulnier and is cosponsored by Rep. Lloyd Smucker.  Purpose:  To direct the Secretary of Transportation to establish the Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) Challenge Grant Program to promote technological innovation in our Nation’s cities.    

Public Relations Notice:

Media coverage by State Scoop:

Scientists For Wired Technology maintains a full running  list of federal legislation and we invite you to also go to their page for updates as there are literally dozens of bills moving forward and proposed.

FCC Rules

The FCC is rapidly putting forward new rules that would preempt local authority on the small cell buildout. As an example see Docket No. 17-79. However this is just one of many.

FCC FACT SHEET* Replacement Utility Poles Report and Order WT Docket No. 17-79

4/20/2017 FCC Press Release: FCC TAKES STEPS TO PROMOTE WIRELESS BROADBAND DEPLOYMENT Removing Barriers to Investment Needed for America’s 5G Future

To take action on the FCC rules you can do four things

  1. Contact your federal elected officials and call for immediate action on this issue. Set up a meeting, follow up and ask that they are are part of the solution. Ask them to file comments on these rules and to communicate that their constituents do not want cell antennas in their front yard.  If you are told that “there is nothing they can do” do not accept this. They can make the difference and as elected officials that is their job. Follow up with staffers that you meet with and have in-person meetings.
  2. Contact the federal representatives on their FCC Congressional oversight committee with letters calls and meetings.
  3. File yourself comments on the Dockets that pertain to the small cell rollout.
  4. To all your elected officials communicate that the Telecom Act section that eliminates our right to halt cell towers based on environmental effects must be repealed.  

Heading to Washington DC to talk with your elected officials?

Talking face to face with your elected officials in our State Capital is a great way to support protective policy. We recommend you schedule meetings at your elected official’s office. Sometimes representatives are able to talk with you in person on their way to votes and committee meetings.

Find Your Senator at this link to get phone numbers and contact info.

Find Your Representative at this link to get phone numbers and contact info.

Senate Floor Schedule

Senate Committee Meetings/Hearings Schedule



Click here to see our  list of US States with Legislation (Proposed and Passed) Regarding Streamlining of Wireless Facilities in Rights of Way.  

Click here to go to Common Cause “Find Your Elected Officials Page” where you can you can find your Elected Officials, how to contact them, bills they’ve introduced, committees they serve on, and political contributions they’ve received.

“Handcuffing cities to help Telecom Giants; Carriers Are Pushing States and the FCC to Constrain Public Rights, They Say it’s for the Mythical “5g,”  We Should Be Very Skeptical by Susan Crawford and John A. Reilly Clinical Professor of Law at Harvard.

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