5G is used to describe the fifth generation of wireless communications technologies supporting cellular data networks.
Show All Answers
Local governments have very limited authority to regulate with respect to radio frequency emissions. There is a federal statute that prevents states and localities from regulating wireless facilities on the basis of the health or environmental effects of radiofrequency (RF) emissions. The preemption is found in the 1996 Telecommunications Act, 47 U.S.C. § 332(c)(7)(B)(iv). The statute and the case law interpreting it give sole authority for regulating in this area to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Local governments can do little more than require wireless companies to certify that they will comply with the federal regulations for RF emissions.
Local government organizations of which the Town is a part have advocated for the FCC to ensure these standards are up to date, and that they specifically address 5G technology. To date, the FCC has not come out with any regulations specific to 5G. The Town can continue to advocate, but not regulate, with respect to these issues.
To the extent that you would like to see greater local and/or state control over radio frequency emissions, we recommend you contact your Congressional representatives and advocate for a change in the law.