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Mass. Towns Upset Over New FCC Limits on Telecom Fees

Officials in Boston and other municipalities said new federal rules on the deployment of advanced 5G wireless systems could cost them billions of dollars in lost revenue, by limiting what local governments can charge telecom companies for using city utility poles for thousands of small cell towers.

The Federal Communications Commission in September capped the amount cities can charge telecom companies for the use of these poles, at $500 for installing on an existing pole and at $270 for an ongoing annual fee. This is far less, sometimes thousands of dollars less, than what Boston and other communities charge.

“While the City of Boston supports the expansion of telecommunication services to improve services available to all residents, that benefit from private companies should not come at a cost to the taxpayers of Boston and should not strip local municipalities of their ability to oversee public rights of way,” Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh said in a statement. – Boston Globe


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