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Kitch "Smart Communities" File Extensive Comments at the FCC in the Mobilitie Wireless Tower Docket No. 16-421

March, 2017

Michael Watza

Michael J. Watza, in partnership with Washington D.C. colleagues, filed a 249 page brief (Referred to as “Comments”) at the FCC on March 8, 2017,  opposing the wireless industry’s proposed installation of as many as four new utility poles every 500 feet in all of our city roadsides, in addition to the existing electric poles. Hundreds of cities (representing some 30 million residents) from around the country are represented in our comments.

A decision by the FCC is anticipated sometime this year and will affect private and public property owners alike.

Our Comments are unique among the 838 other comments received by the FCC as of this time, including the large number of communities represented, the scope of legal issues addressed and, in presentation of four substantive/technical experts including:

a. An appraiser commenting on the impacts on value which these facilities will have on public and private property owners;
b. An economist offering market force dynamics that compel community market rental rates for access to our otherwise taxpayer supported rights of way;
c. An international network engineer commenting upon the truth and fiction about these DAS/Small cell technologies – what is truly possible and what is not; and,
d. A highway safety design engineer discussing the substantial safety issues, work and expenses associated with safe highway design requirements to accommodate Mobilitie’s 120’ tower proposals for our rights of way as well as the potential proliferation of many more traditional utility poles devoted to multiple wireless carriers.

Our comments are available here: https://ecfsapi.fcc.gov/file/1030998488645/COMMENTS_SMART%20COMMUNITIES%20SITING%20COALITION.pdf

Mr. Watza is a principal and leads the firm's government practice on telecommunications, energy, liability, gaming and insurance matters. A member of the Bar since 1986 and the firm since 1996, Mr. Watza also serves as PROTEC’s General Counsel, Chairs the International Municipal Lawyer Association’s Telecommunications Committee and Chairs an Attorney Grievance Panel in Detroit.