Broadband and cell tower siting legislation advances

May 7, 2015

On Tuesday, a Senate Ways and Means subcommittee held a hearing on House File 641, the House version of the broadband bill. The subcommittee is comprised of Senators Janet Petersen, (D-Des Moines) as chairwoman, Matt McCoy (D-Des Moines) and Randy Feenstra (R-Hull). During the hearing, several industry representatives spoke in favor of the bill referencing the various incentives. Petersen indicated her interest in moving the bill forward, but said more work needs to be done before it is passed. It is not clear what might be included in an amendment, but ABI staff is talking to senators about the importance of keeping the language very similar to the House with a property tax exemption and including wireless in the definition of broadband.

Similarly, on Wednesday the House of Representatives took up House File 655, which sets uniform regulations for siting of cell phone towers. The bill passed the Iowa House 59-39. Coupled with broadband, this bill will help continue to improve the regulatory environment in the state and expand access to broadband services. If the expansion of broadband is important to you, please consider sending your state senator a message asking them to support HF 641 and HF 655. Find your senator’s contact information here