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Wireless carriers’ 5G legislation stalls in Pennsylvania

The Philadelphia Inquirer
In this Thursday Nov. 1, 2018 photo, Brian Mayton, a research assistant at the MIT Media Lab Responsive Environment group, holds his mobile phone receiving live stream video and audio data at a marshland in Plymouth, Mass., which is equipped with wireless sensors, cameras and microphones to create a virtual reality world inspired by nature's rhythms. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology hope that by live-streaming data, sights and sounds at the Tidmarsh Wildlife Sanctuary, they can help scientists understand wildlife restoration techniques and let other virtual visitors experience nature remotely. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

HARRISBURG – Wireless carriers including Verizon and AT&T are struggling to get a vote on legislation to make it easier and cheaper for them to attach small-cell antennas to utility poles to carry 4G and next-generation 5G services across Pennsylvania.

A House Consumer Affairs Committee meeting scheduled for Tuesday was canceled after officials from municipal associations and the AFL-CIO protested.

Committee Chairman Brad Roae, R-Crawford, told The Philadelphia Inquirer that he’ll bring up the bill in the fall and he accused municipal officials of trying to “extort” high fees from wireless carriers.

Municipal associations say the legislation doesn’t solve a lack of rural broadband access and undercuts municipal zoning powers.

Rick Bloomingdale, president of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO, says the legislation lacks safety and training provisions for workers who would install small-cell antennas.

Information from: The Philadelphia Inquirer, http://www.inquirer.com