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. Allows the state and political subdivisions to require a permit application to
collocate wireless facilities and construct and operate utility poles and wireless
facilities and structures with regard to property that, on the effective date of the bill,
is located in historic places or in an area that is used for the underground
transmission or delivery of electrical power, heat, water, gas, sewer, or
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, a utility district, or a
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. Limits the rate an owner of a UPDS may charge to collocate on the pole to
$100 per year per pole.
5. Subject to a number of conditions, limits the rate an owner of a governmental
pole 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 the limit
specified in item 4.
6. Provides that if collocation rates charged on the effective date of the bill by
a person who owns or controls a governmental pole or UPDS are inconsistent with
the rates specified in the bill, the pole owner must revise its rates to be in compliance
with the rates specified in the bill, not later than the first day of the seventh month
beginning after the bill takes effect.
7. Provides that a person who owns or controls a governmental pole or 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. 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.
If a person is affected by a contract that is in effect on the effective date of the
bill, and the contract contains provisions inconsistent with provisions in the bill
related to rates and fees for the use of ROW or charges for the use of a governmental
pole or a UPDS, the person may follow the terms of the contract until the contract
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. 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.
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.
For further information see the state and local fiscal estimate, which will be
printed as an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
66.0404 (4e) of the statutes is created to read:
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 a parcel of land that is subject to a zoning ordinance that 9
permits only single-family residential use on that parcel.
(c) A setback requirement may create a setback only from the lot line of a parcel 11
that is zoned for only single-family residential use or for which only single-family 12
residential use is a permitted use.
(d) A setback requirement must be based on the height of the proposed mobile 2
service support structure, and the setback requirement may not be a distance that 3
is greater than the height of the proposed structure and, subject to par. (e), may be 4
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 6
support structure that is less than the height of the proposed structure if all property 7
owners of lots that are zoned for only single-family residential use, that are located 8
within a radius of 3 times the height of the proposed structure, consent in writing to 9
such placement of the proposed structure.
66.0414 of the statutes is created to read:
1166.0414 Small wireless facilities. (1) Definitions.
In this section:
(a) “Antenna” means communications equipment that transmits and receives 13
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. 15
101.80 (4), the state plumbing code specified in s. 145.13, the fire prevention code 16
under ch. SPS 314, Wis. adm. code, the Wisconsin commercial building code under 17
chs. SPS 361 to 366, the Wisconsin uniform dwelling code under chs. SPS 320 to 325, 18
and local amendments to those codes enacted solely to address imminent threats of 19
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 22
collocate a small wireless facility or to install or modify a utility pole or wireless 23
(e) “Collocate” or “collocation” means the placement, mounting, replacement, 2
modification, operation, or maintenance of a wireless facility on or adjacent to a 3
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 6
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 9
state or by a political subdivision in a right-of-way, and a pole or similar structure 10
owned or operated by the state or a political subdivision in a right-of-way that 11
supports only wireless facilities.
(i) “Investor-owned electric utility” means a public utility whose purpose is the 13
generation, transmission, delivery, or furnishing of electric power but does not 14
include a public utility owned and operated wholly by a municipality or a cooperative 15
association organized under ch. 185.
(j) “Microwireless facility” means a small wireless facility that does not exceed 17
24 inches in length, 15 inches in width, and 12 inches in height and that has no 18
exterior antenna longer than 11 inches.
(k) “Permit” means written authorization required by the state or a political 20
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 24
in s. 340.01 (22), other than a federal interstate highway; sidewalk; utility easement;
or other similar property, including property owned or controlled by the department 2
(o) “Small wireless facility” means a wireless facility to which all of the 4
1. Each antenna is located inside an enclosure of no more than 6 cubic feet or, 6
in the case of an antenna that has exposed elements, the antenna and all of its 7
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 9
more than 28 cubic feet, except that when calculating the allowable volume for 10
purposes of this subdivision, an electric meter, concealment elements, a 11
telecommunications demarcation box, a ground-based enclosure, a power transfer 12
switch, and vertical cable runs for the connection of power and other services may 13
not be included.
(p) “Utility pole” means a structure that is used in whole or in part by a 15
communications service provider or for electric distribution, lighting, traffic control, 16
signage, or a similar function but does not include a structure that supports only a 17
wireless facility. “Utility pole” does not include poles owned or operated by an 18
investor-owned electric utility.
(q) “Utility pole for designated services” means a utility pole owned or operated 20
in a right-of-way by the state or a political subdivision, a utility district, a 21
cooperative association organized under ch. 185 for purposes of producing or 22
furnishing electricity to its members only that is designed to, or used to, carry electric 23
distribution lines, or cables or wires for telecommunications, cable, or electric 24
(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
or the construction, operation, marketing, or maintenance of wireless facilities, 8
wireless support structures, or 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. The fee or rate must be competitively neutral with regard to other users of 19
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.
If the state or a political subdivision charges a 6
wireless provider a fee or rate for the use of a right-of-way on the effective date of 7
this paragraph .... [LRB inserts date], that is inconsistent with par. (c), the state or 8
political subdivision shall revise its fee or rate to be in compliance with par. (c) not 9
later than the first day of the 7th month beginning after the effective date of this 10
paragraph .... [LRB inserts date].
(e) Right of access
. 1. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection and subs. 12
(3) (c) 4. and (4), and notwithstanding any zoning ordinance enacted by a political 13
subdivision under s. 59.69, 60.61, or 62.23, a wireless provider shall have the right 14
to collocate wireless facilities and construct, modify, maintain, and operate utility 15
poles, wireless support structures, conduit, cable, and related appurtenances and 16
facilities along, across, upon, and under a right-of-way. Such facilities and 17
structures may not obstruct or hinder travel or public safety on or around the 18
right-of-way, or obstruct the legal use of the right-of-way by other communications 19
providers, public utilities, or cooperative associations organized under ch. 185 for the 20
purpose of producing or furnishing heat, light, power, or water to their members only.
2. Except as provided in subd. 4., the height of a utility pole or wireless support 22
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 24
date of this subd. 2. a. .... [LRB inserts date], and that is located within 500 feet of 25
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 3
not exceed the greater of:
a. Ten feet above the tallest existing utility pole or wireless support structure 5
that is in place on the effective date of this subd. 3. a. .... [LRB inserts date].
b. The maximum height described in subd. 2. b.
4. A wireless provider may construct, modify, and maintain a utility pole, 8
wireless support structure, or wireless facility along, across, upon, and under a 9
right-of-way that exceeds the height limits in this paragraph if the wireless provider 10
complies with height limits under the zoning ordinances enacted by a political 11
subdivision under s. 59.69, 60.61, or 62.23.
5. With regard to the rights of a wireless provider to construct wireless facilities 13
or modify utility poles, wireless support structures, conduit, cable, and related 14
appurtenances and facilities as described in subd. 1., a political subdivision may 15
propose an alternate location within 50 feet of the proposed location, which the 16
wireless provider shall use if it has the right to use the alternate structure on 17
reasonable terms and conditions and the alternate location does not impose technical 18
limits or additional costs, as determined by the wireless provider.
(f) Damage and repair
. The state or a political subdivision may require a 20
wireless provider to repair all damage that is directly caused by the activities of the 21
wireless provider in a right-of-way involving its wireless facilities, wireless support 22
structures, or utility poles, and to return the right-of-way to its former condition 23
before it was so damaged. If the wireless provider fails to make the required repairs 24
within a reasonable amount of time after receiving a written request to do so from
the state or a political subdivision, the state or political subdivision may make the 2
necessary repairs and charge the liable party for the cost of the repairs.
. The state and political subdivisions must administer 4
and regulate a right-of-way in a competitively neutral manner with regard to all 5
users of the right-of-way.