T-Mobile US goes to the Supreme Court vs. City of Roswell, GAby RCR Wireless News
You’ve heard of someone not taking no for an answer, but T-Mobile US took a city’s refusal to the highest court in the land. This week the Supreme Court began hearing the case of T-Mobile South v. Roswell. We first reported this was going to court back in May, but opening arguments began this week.
Here’s a quick recap of the case: T-Mobile US wanted to build an additional tower in Roswell, Ga. The city rejected their request, but only with a vague no. T-Mobile US believes this is a violation of the Telecommunications Act of 1996′s “Preservation of Local Zoning Authority.” In it, when a city rejects the construction or modification of a wireless structure or facility it “shall be in writing and supported by substantial evidence contained in the record.” The city never gave a specific reason with supported evidence, instead turning in meeting minutes that included a laundry list of reasons why they didn't want a tower. The city considers this sufficient reason, but T-Mobile US begs to differ.
The best quote to come out so far from a justice?
“Everyone loves cellphones, apparently,” Justice Stephen Breyer said. “Nobody likes towers, apparently.”
The highest court in the land is now acutely aware of what the rest of us have been aware of for years.
All jokes aside, this case is a big deal for the tower industry as it could set long-term precedent for determining the specifics of tower deployment and how it interacts with local authorities.
Click here for more quotes from the justices hearing the case. We’ll report on this story more as the case develops.
Verizon Wireless goes to federal court vs. Columbia County, GA
It seems it’s the season for carriers to go to court. Verizon Wireless will soon get its day in a federal court. Verizon Wireless is suing Columbia County, Ga., claiming it was denied the right to build a 160-foot tower in the city. The problem? The city didn't put the reasons for the denial in writing. Ouch. With the other case in the Supreme Court with another city in Georgia you would have thought this city would have been a little more careful about that, but alas no. More news on this case as it develops.