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    Wireless bill ready for Kasich’s signature

    UPDATE: On May 3, 2018, after months of litigation between Ohio municipalities and telecommunications companies, Governor John Kasich signed H.B. 478 into law. H.B. 478 gives municipalities more control over the placement and appearance of small cells than its predecessor statute.

    Earlier this month, House Bill 478 (H.B. 478) was passed by the Senate and is now headed to Governor Kasich for his signature. The bill represents a compromise between the telecommunications industry and Ohio municipalities. If Kasich signs the bill, it will be effective 90 days later.

    For the last year, over 70 Ohio municipalities have been involved in litigation against the State of Ohio. The lawsuits took place in five Ohio counties—Franklin, Summit, Cuyahoga, Hamilton and Lucas—and the outcomes of the lawsuit have been split. However, judges in four of the five counties held that the previous micro wireless bill (Senate Bill 331) violated the “single subject rule” of the Ohio constitution.

    H.B. 478 gives municipalities more control over the placement and appearance of small cells than its predecessor statute. According to a recent Columbus Dispatch article, AT&T’s director of external affairs in Ohio has noted that the drafting of H.B. 478 was the result of “a lot of give-and-take by both sides.” 

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