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Telecommunications

Telecommunications Law

Our Telecommunications Practice Group, led by Lona Laymon and Christy Marie Lopez, provides expert advice on telecommunications law to public agencies throughout the state of California. Our expertise includes interpreting and complying with the complex array of state and federal regulatory requirements specific to wireless telecommunications facilities. Our experts are uniquely qualified to serve local agencies in the area of telecommunications law because they possess a parallel knowledge of land use and municipal law.

Expertise

  • Drafting comprehensive telecommunications policies, zoning ordinances, and right-of-way regulations for the siting, management, and design of wireless facilities on both public and private property.  Negotiating wireless facility leases and license agreements, including “master license agreements.” 
  • Small cell technology (including 5G technology) and macrocell technology.
  • Regulating and negotiating advanced metering (SmartMeter) installations.
  • Negotiating and processing telecommunications facility entitlements.
  • Federal and state “shot clock” and tolling issues related to the time limits imposed on the processing of wireless telecommunications applications.
  • Pole attachment and colocation guidance, including for attachment to existing facilities.
  • Conducting community needs assessments and public outreach workshops relating to wireless regulations.
  • Nuisance abatement and code enforcement for noncompliant wireless installations, including evaluation of, and compliance with, environmental regulations and requirements affecting telecommunications infrastructure development.
  • Fiber optic infrastructure deployment, undergrounding, and access to public rights of way via permits, licenses, and easements.
  • Public safety communications issues.

Expertise in Action

The advancement of wireless technology over the past 30 years has fundamentally changed the way our communities learn, shop, socialize and conduct business. The pace and scale of these changes, together with convergence of the underlying technologies, have led to an unprecedented number of legal developments in recent years, including many unsettled regulations and ambiguous legislation. The complex and mutable nature of these technologies and laws poses a great challenge to local governments trying to adapt their regulations to the new legal and technological landscape.

We keep current on existing and new telecommunications technologies and related developments in the law that will impact our clients. Through these efforts we are able to provide state-of-the-art advice to ensure that our clients and their communities have the benefit of modern solutions to the rapidly-changing telecommunications world. Unfortunately, litigation cannot always be avoided, whether it is a challenge to local interests brought by the telecommunications industry or a code enforcement case brought by the local agency. When litigation does ensue, we have a range of expert litigators to pursue our clients’ interests through trial and appeals, if needed, but also work to reduce the costs of litigation without compromising the land use principles that may be at stake.

Notably, our attorneys also work in the areas of land use and municipal law, and therefore, are uniquely situated to work with local governments to ensure the protection of public interests in aesthetics, view preservation, and the safety of telecommunications installations. We have extensive experience representing local governments on wireless telecommunications matters before city planning commissions, traffic commissions, design review commissions, and city councils. Our telecommunications clients range from small towns to large cities and counties located throughout California.