Phillips & Angley

Cell tower development often faces obstacles

According to a Pew Research Center survey, 95 percent of Americans own a cellphone or smartphone. Cell tower companies are scrambling to keep up with the demand. There is no sign of the need for connection slowing down anytime soon. Regardless, the trend poses some problems. 

Municipalities and landowners alike are sometimes unenthusiastic about having a cell phone tower in their community. This type of reluctance can create a lot of issues for contractors and telecommunication companies.

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 is a law that allows anyone to enter any communications business. In summary, it preserves local zoning authority while protecting cell tower development rights.

Adopting moratorium

Despite the laws in place, some municipalities use improper tactics to stall, delay or stop tower development. In addition, some cities argue that cell towers present dilemmas, such as:

  • Costs
  • Health issues
  • Property value

Cell phone tower installations occasionally have negative impacts on property values. According to a National Institute for Science survey, 94 percent of people surveyed would not buy real estate next to a cell tower.

Cities sometimes use a moratorium to buy more time, especially when they oppose cell tower development. Additionally, cities need time to develop telecommunication ordinances. Such ordinances establish where cell towers can be built. If passed, a moratorium can stall construction approval and can set companies back for months.

Moratoria is just one of the tactics cities and townships use to limit cell tower development. Other times, a city may enforce unreasonable restrictions or deny construction with no proper support. Fortunately, the TCA protects companies from unfair delays and denial. Telecommunication providers may benefit from exploring various legal options.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • MBA
  • Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys
  • ABA | Defending Liberty Pursuing Justice
  • American Association of Justice
  • REBA | The Real Estate Bar Association
  • BBB - Start with trust for Massachusetts
  • Super Lawyers
Email Us For a Response

Contact Us Today

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Phillips & Angley

Phillips & Angley
1 Washington St. Suite 7A
Boston, MA 02108

Boston Law Office Map