California Gov. Jerry Brown on Sunday vetoed legislation to establish uniform, statewide standards for installing the small antennas needed to implement 5G networks.
Senate Bill 649, which passed the California Legislature last month, would have restricted local governments’ abilities to block antenna placement and would cap the rates that they could charge telecom companies for installations on public property, such as street lamps or traffic lights.
Telecom industry groups supported the measure and argued that it was needed to meet the demand for next-generation wireless connections, which will be powered by many smaller antennas instead of massive, but less numerous, cell towers. Observers anticipate that government agencies will see a flood of permits for new antennas to support 5G in coming years.
Efforts to ease the installation of 5G antennas, however, pitted industry and state officials against local government advocates throughout the country, and California was no exception. Some critics also reportedly expressed concerns about radiation emitted by thousands of small antennas.
Ultimately, Brown sided with local leaders.
“There is something of real value in having a process that results in extending this innovative technology rapidly and efficiently,” Brown wrote in his veto message. “Nevertheless, I believe the interest which localities have in managing rights of way requires a more balanced solution than the one achieved in this bill.”
Filed Under: Industry regulations, Wireless