On Monday, January 31, the State and Local Government committee voted unanimously “ought not to pass” on LD 383, An Act Concerning Small Wireless Facilities in Maine. The Maine State Chamber testified in opposition to this legislation, as it would have undone several changes to laws around small wireless facilities that passed in 2019. The changes that passed in 2019 were unanimously approved by the Legislature and signed into law by Governor Janet Mills. The changes created a more streamlined and consistent permitting process, which has resulted in millions of dollars of investment into Maine and has created thousands of jobs. This change has allowed Mainers to have better connectivity as 5G wireless has been more accessible.
With improved connectivity, businesses can access the tools they need to better compete in the global economy and small businesses can grow their customer base, expand their reach, and potentially increase their revenue. Students can take distance-learning classes to further their education and access a world of opportunities that might not otherwise be available.
When wireless carriers are seeking to enhance their networks, one of the key factors they consider is whether municipalities and states have streamlined permitting processes and regulatory environments that encourage investment. That is why it is important for Maine to implement statewide small cell legislation that will establish a consistent, streamlined permitting process for wireless carriers to bring this technology to our communities. The changes in 2019 did that and gives Maine a competitive advantage rather than forcing companies to look at other states to invest their money.
The Maine State Chamber would like to thank the members of the State and Local Government committee for opposing LD 383. For additional information or questions, please contact Ben Lucas by calling (207) 623-4568, ext. 111, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.