Ohio Municipal League (OML) Asks Ohioans to Complain to Feds About Legislation Eliminating Local Control Over Small Cell Tower Placement Even Though They Endorsed State Legislation That Did Same Thing.

By B.N. Frank

Wow – this seems to have really bit them in the behind.  The Ohio Municipal League fully supported the passing of Ohio House Bill 478 “Small Cells Expansion Act” which severely limited municipal control over small cell towers and wireless infrastructure placement – including in front of homes, public rights-of-ways, historic districts. 

Some Ohio municipal governments are still trying to find ways to stop it from being enforced even though it went into effect on August 1.  Activist Post has already reported about this Ohio bill as well as other similar U.S. local, state and federal legislation proposed and opposed by various community leaders and organizations. Medical media personalities Dr. Naomi Wolf and Dr. Oz have also weighed in.  Decades of research has already determined that radiation exposure from small and large cell towers is harmful. The International Association of Firefighters has opposed the use of their stations as base stations for cell towers and antennas since 2004 because of research proving harm.

Regardless, The Ohio Municipal League finds it perfectly acceptable that Ohio elected officials voted to allow telecom companies to install wireless infrastructure in residential yards and everywhere else but is freaking out about The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and non-Ohio elected officials putting their own spin on federal legislation allowing the same thing.

Here’s the OML email sent last week asking Ohioans to submit objections.  Note that the deadline is September 18, 2018.  For more information, visit the following websites included below.

September 12, 2018


Late last week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a document that would create substantial preemptions on local small cell infrastructure improvement. It is scheduled to be reviewed and possibly approved later this month.

This document outlines the massive loss of local control municipalities would face regarding small cell deployment in the municipal right-of-way, including issues like undergrounding, negotiations for public benefits and the ability to fully control the appearance of city streets by limiting local aesthetic requirements.

The proposal would undo all the hard work accomplished in HB 478, which made into law the agreed-upon compromises and negotiations between Ohio’s municipalities and the telecommunications industry. Instead, many of the benefits of utility statues would be handed to wireless providers and have the potential to free them of the requirement to build out and provide services to all residents in a reasonable timeframe.

Municipalities would also face substantial revenue losses as the proposal limits recurring fees for small cells in the rights-of-way, in addition to the cost of several new unfunded mandates. To read more about the specific items in the proposal click HERE.

The FCC will be holding an open meeting on Wednesday, September 26. The proposal will go into effect if a majority of commissioners approves it. We are asking all our local officials to write and express their opposition to this proposal by the FCC’s deadline of Tuesday, September 18. You can find a template letter HERE.

It is imperative that our municipal officials let the federal government know Ohio municipalities strongly object to preemptions by the federal government over local control. Please write and express your opposition to the FCC today.


The Ohio Municipal League, 175 S. Third Street, Suite 510, Columbus, OH 43215

The following organizations offer resources to everyone wanting to keep wireless infrastructure from being installed throughout their communities:

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