Washington, DC—Below is a statement by U.S. Conference of Mayors CEO and Executive Director Tom Cochran on two Petitions for Review filed by the City of San Jose, California and twenty other western U.S. cities and Los Angeles County in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals challenging the constitutionality and legality of a recent FCC Order that preempts local government authority over the deployment of small cells in communities’ rights-of-way and sets a cost based cap for rent.

“The U.S. Conference of Mayors again wants to register its strongest opposition to recent actions by the Federal Communications Commission.  This independent federal regulatory agency has deliberately and systematically reinterpreted federal law as part of its efforts to “nationalize” city and other local public property in its quest to grant special and unlawful rights to private enterprises that seek to occupy local rights-of-ways and public property for small cell deployment.

“Instead of working with local governments to win the global race to 5G, the FCC is forcing cities to race to the courthouse to defend the most basic of local government rights – the authority to manage and seek fair compensation from private users that seek to employ public assets, owned and paid for by local taxpayers, for their personal profit without any obligation to serve all of the community whose assets are occupied.

“Cities throughout the U.S. have been leading the way in developing new and innovative partnership agreements with private providers to accelerate the deployment of fifth generation (5G) wireless networks.  Local governments and mayors ensured that the US was the leader in 1, 2, 3 and 4G through cooperative and creative relationships.  Relationships the FCC’s actions have undermined.

“We support and join with these petitioners and other cities in calling on the federal courts to review and rectify such unlawful actions by the FCC.”


For more information, see here.

Members of the appeal include: CITY OF SAN JOSE, California; CITY OF ARCADIA, California; CITY OF BELLEVUE, Washington; CITY OF BURIEN, Washington; CITY OF BURLINGAME, California; CULVER CITY, California; TOWN OF FAIRFAX, California; CITY OF GIG HARBOR, Washington; CITY OF ISSAQUAH, Washington; CITY OF KIRKLAND, Washington; CITY OF LAS VEGAS, Nevada; CITY OF LOS ANGELES, California; COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES, California; CITY OF MONTEREY, California; CITY OF ONTARIO, California; CITY OF PIEDMONT, California; CITY OF PORTLAND, Oregon; CITY OF SAN JACINTO, California; CITY OF SHAFTER, California; CITY OF YUMA, Arizona.