The Osceola County Commission received a legislative update at their meeting on Monday afternoon, regarding various pieces of legislation currently being considered by the state legislature in Tallahassee. One bill that would allow access to public utility poles to cell phone companies received negative reviews from Commissioners.
SB 596 or the “Advanced Wireless Infrastructure Deployment Act” being sponsored by State Senator Travis Hutson, would from prohibit local government from regulating small wireless facilities in public rights-of-way areas in certain circumstances.
Concerns voiced by Commissioners included possible legal issues that could conflict between the cell phone carriers and the utilities in addition to open access to right of way properties.
The legislation had no audible support from the board but plenty of opposition from at least two Commissioners.
“Whoever is writing this bill must be getting a big kick back.” said Osceola Commission Chair Brandon Arrington “This seems insane and irrational from a government stand point.”
Commissioner Viviana Janer said she would also oppose the measure calling it “outrageous” and said she was visited by representatives of the company that called themselves the “New Utility” citing a necessity for cellphone service.
The commission pledged to send a letter of opposition to Hutson and their State Representative Mike LaRosa, who they said supported the legislation.