Small Cells

Background

A 2018 ruling (Small Cell Order) by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) required cities to identify Small Cell Design Standards for public right-of-way by April 15, 2019. Pursuant to the FCC Order, cities cannot require undergrounding and must provide objective, reasonable, deployable, and scalable design standards. Furthermore, the FCC Small Cell Order required cities to approve wireless cell antennas within 60 days for existing poles and 90 days for new poles. Finally, the Order stated that poles must be made available for small cell wireless and establishes a cost-based fee structure for review/permitting.

In order to be compliant with the Order, On April 3, 2019 the City of Morgan Hill approved a Small Cell License (SCL) Agreement template and Design Standards for attachment to City poles.  The SCL outlines the number of city owned poles, specific location(s), and photo simulations of equipment on the poles. The agreement can be approved by the City Manager.  The permit process for a provider to install will be an encroachment permit to the Engineering Division for attachment of Small Cell antennas to a city owned pole(s). 

Finally, the City modified the Section 18.96 of the municipal code to create consistency between the Small Cell Order and the Zoning code.

Documents

  1. Small Cell License Agreement Template (pdf)
  2. Small Cell Design Guidelines (pdf)
  3. City Council Ordinance Amending Zoning Code for Public Right of Way Telecommunications (pdf)