1. Subject to a number of exceptions, prohibits the state and political
subdivisions from prohibiting, regulating, or charging any person for the collocation
of small wireless facilities.
2. Notwithstanding a political subdivision's zoning ordinances, classifies small
wireless facilities as a permitted use that is not subject to such zoning ordinances if
they are collocated in or outside a ROW if the property is not zoned exclusively for
single-family residential use.
3. Subject to a number of conditions, authorizes the state and political
subdivisions to require an application for a permit to collocate a small wireless
facility and to construct and operate a new or replacement utility pole or wireless
support structure if the permit is of general applicability and does not apply
exclusively to wireless facilities. The bill imposes various deadlines relating to the
permit application and approval process. Generally, permits for collocation or
replacement must be approved or denied within 60 days of receipt, and permits that
involve new wireless facilities and structures must be approved or denied within 90
days of receipt. If the state or a political subdivision misses a deadline for an
application, the bill allows the applicant to consider the application approved.
4. Requires the state or political subdivisions to approve permit applications
unless the application does not meet applicable codes, which are defined as state
codes related to electrical wiring, plumbing, and fire prevention; commercial
building codes; uniform dwelling codes; and local amendments to those codes.
5. Prohibits the state and political subdivisions from requiring an applicant to
perform services unrelated to the collocation to which a permit relates, and prohibits
such governmental units from requiring a wireless provider permit applicant to
provide more information in its permit application than the governmental unit
requires of communications service providers for the same type of permit.
6. Requires an applicant whose permit application is approved to commence
the activity authorized by the permit within 365 days after its receipt and requires
the applicant to pursue work on the activity until completion. However, the bill
prohibits the state and political subdivisions from placing any time limit on an
application related to the permit.
7. Prohibits the state and political subdivisions from imposing a moratorium
on filing, receiving, or processing applications, or issuing permits for the collocation
of small wireless facilities.
8. Authorizes a political subdivision to enact an ordinance to prohibit, in a
nondiscriminatory way, a communications service provider from installing
structures in the ROW of a historic district or an area in which underground utilities
are located, except that the ordinance may not prohibit collocations or the
replacement of existing structures. In addition, such an ordinance had to have been
in effect on or before January 1, 2014.
9. Subject to a number of conditions, authorizes the state and political
subdivisions to charge an application fee for permits if an application fee is required
for similar types of permit applications related to other types of commercial
development. Generally, neither the state nor a political subdivision may require
applications, permits, or fees for routine maintenance of wireless facilities; the
replacement of such facilities with substantially similar or smaller facilities; or
installation, maintenance, operation, or replacement of microwireless facilities
strung on cables between existing utility poles or wireless support structures.
Access to governmental structures
With regard to regulating access to governmental structures, the bill does the
1. Defines “governmental pole” as a utility pole that is owned or operated by
the state or a political subdivision in a ROW, and a pole or similar structure owned
or operated by the state or a political subdivision in a ROW that supports only
2. Defines “utility pole for designated services” (UPDS) as a utility pole owned
or operated in a ROW by the state or a political subdivision or a utility district.
3. Prohibits a person who owns or controls a governmental pole or UPDS from
entering into an exclusive arrangement with any person for the right to attach to or
use such poles, and prohibits the owner of such poles from imposing fees or charges
for the use of the poles that discriminate based on the type of collocation provided by
the person who contracts to use the poles.
4. Provides that the rate a political subdivision may charge for collocating a
small wireless facility on a UPDS is governed by agreement between the political
subdivision and a wireless provider and provides that, if no agreement is reached,
the rate is subject to the Public Service Commission's authority under current law.
5. Subject to a number of conditions, limits the rate an owner of a governmental
pole, other than a UPDS, charges another person to collocate on the pole to an
amount that is sufficient to recover the owner's actual, direct, and reasonable costs,
subject to a maximum of $100 per pole per year.
6. Specifies deadlines for the state and political subdivisions to make available
rates, fees, and terms for collocation of small wireless facilities on governmental
poles that comply with the bill's requirements and to amend existing agreements
relating to collocation in the ROW.
7. Provides that a person who owns or controls a governmental pole other than
a UPDS may not require more make-ready work than required to meet applicable
codes or industry standards, and prohibits fees for make-ready work from including
costs related to preexisting conditions, prior damage, or noncompliance with current
standards. Such fees may not exceed actual costs or the amount charged to other
communications service providers for similar work.
8. Requires the state and political subdivisions to authorize the collocation of
small wireless facilities on wireless support structures and governmental poles that
are not located within ROW to the same extent that the governmental unit permits
access to such structures for other commercial projects or uses.
Local authority, dispute resolution
With regard to the authority of a political subdivision, the bill does the
1. Subject to the limitations contained in the bill, and federal law, authorizes
a political subdivision to exercise zoning, land use, planning, and permitting
authority with respect to wireless support structures and utility poles.
2. In general, prohibits a political subdivision from exercising authority over
the design, engineering, construction, installation, or operation of any small wireless
facility located inside or on the site of any campus, stadium, or athletic facility not
owned or controlled by the political subdivision.
3. Limits regulatory authority over the placement or operation of
communications facilities in a ROW by entities authorized to operate in the ROW on
the bill's effective date or by the wireless provider affiliates of such entities.
4. Provides a mechanism for political subdivisions to allow the placement of a
wireless facility or wireless support structure at a temporary rate pending the
resolution of a ROW dispute.
In general, the bill requires a wireless provider to indemnify and hold harmless
a political subdivision for any liability and loss from personal injury or property
damage that results from the use or occupancy of ROW by the wireless provider, and
requires a wireless provider to waive any claims it may have against a political
subdivision with respect to damages, however caused, based on the theory of liability.
Setback requirements for a mobile service support structure
Generally, under current law, a political subdivision may not impose a setback
requirement for a mobile service support structure. This bill grants a political
subdivision limited authority to impose a setback requirement on the placement of
such a structure with regard to new or substantially modified structures. Under the
bill, a requirement could apply only to a structure that is constructed on land that
is zoned for only single-family residential use or on adjacent land. In addition, the
setback requirement must be based on the height of the proposed structure, and the
requirement may not exceed the height of the proposed structure. The bill also
provides, however, that a setback requirement does not apply to an existing or new
utility pole, or wireless support structure that supports small wireless facilities, if
the pole or facility meets the height limitations specified in the bill for such a pole
Also under the bill, a political subdivision must allow a setback of a proposed
mobile service support structure that is less than the height of the structure if all
property owners of lots zoned for only single-family residential use, located within
a radius of three times the height of the structure, consent to such placement.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
66.0404 (4e) Setback requirements.
(a) Notwithstanding sub. (4) (r), and 3
subject to the provisions of this subsection, a political subdivision may enact an 4
ordinance imposing setback requirements related to the placement of a mobile 5
service support structure that applies to new construction or the substantial 6
modification of facilities and support structures, as described in sub. (2).
(b) A setback requirement may apply only to a mobile service support structure 8
that is constructed on or adjacent to a parcel of land that is subject to a zoning 9
ordinance that permits only single-family residential use on that parcel. A setback 10
requirement does not apply to an existing or new utility pole, or wireless support 11
structure in a right-of-way that supports a small wireless facility, if the pole or 12
facility meets the height limitations in s. 66.0414 (2) (e) 2. and 3.
(c) The setback requirement under par. (b) for a mobile service support 2
structure on a parcel shall be measured from the lot lines of other adjacent and 3
non-adjacent parcels zoned for only single-family residential use or for which only 4
single-family residential use is a permitted use.
(d) A setback requirement must be based on the height of the proposed mobile 6
service support structure, and the setback requirement may not be a distance that 7
is greater than the height of the proposed structure and, subject to par. (e), may be 8
a distance that is less than the height of the proposed structure.
(e) A political subdivision shall allow a setback of a proposed mobile service 10
support structure that is less than the height of the proposed structure if all property 11
owners of lots that are zoned for only single-family residential use, that are located 12
within a radius of 3 times the height of the proposed structure, consent in writing to 13
such placement of the proposed structure.
1566.0414 Small wireless facilities. (1) Definitions.
In this section:
(a) “Antenna” means communications equipment that transmits and receives 17
electromagnetic radio signals and is used in the provision of wireless services.
(b) “Applicable codes” means the state electrical wiring code, as defined in s. 19
101.80 (4), the state plumbing code specified in s. 145.13, the fire prevention code 20
under ch. SPS 314, Wis. adm. code, the Wisconsin commercial building code under 21
chs. SPS 361 to 366, the Wisconsin uniform dwelling code under chs. SPS 320 to 325, 22
and local amendments to those codes enacted solely to address imminent threats of 23
destruction of property or injury to persons.
(c) “Applicant” means a wireless provider that submits an application.
(d) “Application” means an application for a permit under this section to 2
collocate a small wireless facility or to install or modify a utility pole or wireless 3
(e) “Collocate” or “collocation” means the placement, mounting, replacement, 5
modification, operation, or maintenance of a wireless facility on or adjacent to a 6
wireless support structure or utility pole.
(f) “Communications service provider” means a cable operator, as defined in 47
(5); a provider of information service, as defined in 47 USC 153
(24); a 9
telecommunications carrier, as defined in 47 USC 153
(51); or a wireless provider.
(g) “Fee” means a one-time charge.
(h) “Governmental pole” means a utility pole that is owned or operated by the 12
state or by a political subdivision in a right-of-way, and a pole or similar structure 13
owned or operated by the state or a political subdivision in a right-of-way that 14
supports only wireless facilities.
(i) “Investor-owned electric utility” means a public utility whose purpose is the 16
generation, transmission, delivery, or furnishing of electric power but does not 17
include a public utility owned and operated wholly by a municipality or a cooperative 18
association organized under ch. 185.
(j) “Microwireless facility” means a small wireless facility that does not exceed 20
24 inches in length, 15 inches in width, and 12 inches in height and that has no 21
exterior antenna longer than 11 inches.
(k) “Permit” means written authorization required by the state or a political 23
subdivision to perform an action, or initiate, continue, or complete a project.
(L) “Political subdivision” means any city, village, town, or county.
(m) “Rate” means a recurring charge.
(n) “Right-of-way” means the area on, below, or above a highway, as defined 2
in s. 340.01 (22), other than a federal interstate highway; sidewalk; utility easement, 3
other than a utility easement for a cooperative association organized under ch. 185 4
for purposes of providing or furnishing heat, light, power, or water to its members 5
only; or other similar property, including property owned or controlled by the 6
department of transportation.
(o) “Small wireless facility” means a wireless facility to which all of the 8
1. Each antenna is located inside an enclosure of no more than 6 cubic feet or, 10
in the case of an antenna that has exposed elements, the antenna and all of its 11
exposed elements could fit within an enclosure of no more than 6 cubic feet.
2. All other wireless equipment associated with the facility is cumulatively no 13
more than 28 cubic feet, except that when calculating the allowable volume for 14
purposes of this subdivision, an electric meter, concealment elements, a 15
telecommunications demarcation box, a ground-based enclosure, a power transfer 16
switch, and vertical cable runs for the connection of power and other services may 17
not be included.
(p) “Utility pole” means a structure that is used in whole or in part by a 19
communications service provider or for electric distribution, lighting, traffic control, 20
signage, or a similar function but does not include a structure that supports only a 21
(q) “Utility pole for designated services” means a utility pole owned or operated 23
in a right-of-way by the state, a political subdivision, or a utility district that is 24
designed to, or used to, carry electric distribution lines, or cables or wires for 25
telecommunications, cable, or electric service.
(r) “Wireless facility” means equipment at a fixed location that enables wireless 2
service between user equipment and a wireless network, not including the structure 3
or improvements on, under, or within which the equipment is collocated. “
facility” includes a small wireless facility. “Wireless facility” does not include any of 5
1. A wireline backhaul facility.
2. Coaxial or fiber-optic cable between utility poles or wireless support 8
structures or otherwise not immediately adjacent to or directly associated with a 9
(s) “Wireless infrastructure provider” means any person, other than a wireless 11
services provider, that builds or installs wireless communication transmission 12
equipment, wireless facilities, or wireless support structures.
(t) “Wireless provider” means a wireless infrastructure provider or a wireless 14
(u) “Wireless services” means any service using licensed or unlicensed wireless 16
spectrum, including the use of a Wi-Fi network, whether at a fixed location or by 17
means of a mobile device, that is provided using wireless facilities.
(v) “Wireless services provider” means any person who provides wireless 19
(w) “Wireless support structure” means an existing pole or other freestanding 21
structure, other than a utility pole, that is designed to support, or capable of 22
supporting, wireless facilities.
(x) “Wireline backhaul facility” means a facility for providing wireline backhaul 24
(y) “Wireline backhaul service” means the transport of communications 2
services by wire from wireless facilities to a network.
This subsection applies only to the 4
activities of a wireless provider within a right-of-way.
(b) Exclusive use prohibited
. Neither the state nor a political subdivision may 6
enter into an exclusive arrangement with any person for the use of a right-of-way 7
for the construction, operation, marketing, or maintenance of wireless facilities, 8
wireless support structures, or for the collocation of small wireless facilities.
(c) Rates and fees
. The state or a political subdivision may charge a wireless 10
provider a rate or fee for the use a right-of-way with respect to the construction or 11
collocation of a wireless facility or wireless support structure in the right-of-way 12
only if the state or political subdivision charges other communications service 13
providers or utilities for the use of the right-of-way. If the state or a political 14
subdivision charges a wireless provider a rate or fee as described in this paragraph, 15
all of the following apply:
1. Subject to subd. 5., the fee or rate must be limited to no more than the direct 17
and actual cost of managing the right-of-way.
2. Except as provided in par. (d), the fee or rate must be competitively neutral 19
with regard to other users of the right-of-way.
3. The fee or rate may not result in a double recovery by the state or political 21
subdivision if existing fees, rates, or taxes already recover the direct and actual cost 22
of managing the right-of-way.
4. The fee or rate may not be in the form of a franchise or other fee based on 24
revenue or customer counts.
5. The fee or rate may not exceed an annual amount equal to $20 multiplied 2
by the number of utility poles or wireless support structures in the state's or political 3
subdivision's geographic jurisdiction on which the wireless provider has collocated 4
a small wireless facility antenna.
(d) Rate or fee adjustment.
1. Except as provided in subd. 2., by the later of the 6
first day of the 7th month beginning after the effective date of this subdivision .... 7
[LRB inserts date], or 3 months after receiving its first request for access to the 8
right-of-way by a wireless provider, the state or a political subdivision shall make 9
available, through ordinance or otherwise, rates, fees, and terms for such access that 10
comply with this subsection.
2. Agreements between a wireless provider and the state or a political 12
subdivision that are in effect on the effective date of this subdivision .... [LRB inserts 13
date], and that relate to access to the right-of-way, remain in effect, subject to 14
applicable termination provisions, except that by the first day of the 25th month 15
beginning after the effective date of this subdivision .... [LRB inserts date], the state 16
or political subdivision shall amend any such agreement to comply with the rates, 17
fees, and terms required under this subsection.
(e) Right of access
. 1. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection and subs. 19
(3) (c) 4. and (4), and notwithstanding ss. 182.017 and 196.58 and any zoning 20
ordinance enacted by a political subdivision under s. 59.69, 60.61, or 62.23, a wireless 21
provider shall have the right to collocate wireless facilities and construct, modify, 22
maintain, and operate utility poles, wireless support structures, conduit, cable, and 23
related appurtenances and facilities along, across, upon, and under a right-of-way. 24
Such facilities and structures may not obstruct or hinder travel, drainage, 25
maintenance, or the public health, safety, and general welfare on or around the
right-of-way, or obstruct the legal use of the right-of-way for other communications 2
providers, public utilities, cooperative associations organized under ch. 185 for the 3
purpose of producing or furnishing heat, light, power, or water to their members only, 4
or pipes or pipelines transmitting liquid manure.
2. Except as provided in subd. 4., the height of a utility pole or wireless support 6
structure installed, or modified, in a right-of-way may not exceed the greater of:
a. Ten feet above the tallest existing utility pole that is in place on the effective 8
date of this subd. 2. a. .... [LRB inserts date], and that is located within 500 feet of 9
the new or modified pole or structure in the same right-of-way.
b. Fifty feet above ground level.
3. The height of a wireless facility installed, or modified, in a right-of-way may 12
not exceed the greater of:
a. Ten feet above the tallest existing utility pole or wireless support structure 14
that is in place on the effective date of this subd. 3. a. .... [LRB inserts date], and that 15
is located in the same right-of-way.
b. The maximum height described in subd. 2. b.
4. A wireless provider may construct, modify, and maintain a utility pole, 18
wireless support structure, or wireless facility along, across, upon, and under a 19
right-of-way that exceeds the height limits in this paragraph if the wireless provider 20
complies with height limits under the zoning ordinances enacted by a political 21
subdivision under s. 59.69, 60.61, or 62.23.
5. With regard to the rights of a wireless provider to construct wireless facilities 23
or modify utility poles, wireless support structures, conduit, cable, and related 24
appurtenances and facilities as described in subd. 1., a political subdivision may 25
propose an alternate location within 50 feet of the proposed location, which the
wireless provider shall use if it has the right to use the alternate structure on 2
reasonable terms and conditions and the alternate location does not impose technical 3
limits or additional costs, as determined by the wireless provider.
(f) Damage and repair
. The state or a political subdivision may require a 5
wireless provider to repair all damage that is directly caused by the activities of the 6
wireless provider in a right-of-way involving its wireless facilities, wireless support 7
structures, or utility poles, and to return the right-of-way to its former condition 8
before it was so damaged. If the wireless provider fails to make the required repairs 9
within a reasonable amount of time after receiving a written request to do so from 10
the state or a political subdivision, the state or political subdivision may make the 11
necessary repairs and charge the liable party for the cost of the repairs.