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Wireless Telecommunications, Infrastructure Security, and the NIMBY Problem

62 Pages Posted: 15 Sep 2004  

Steven J. Eagle

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School, Faculty

Abstract

Federal policies have encouraged the growth of wireless communications services while recognizing the traditional primacy of state and local land use regulations governing their infrastructure. However, collective action problems have resulted in the externalization by some communities of the burdens of accommodating wireless towers and other equipment serving them to other localities. This article explores the infrastructure siting provisions of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. It concludes that Congress's effort to strike a balance between local concerns on one hand and national commerce and homeland security on the other has proved vague in content and susceptible to procedural delays that might make local parochialism impervious to challenge. The article suggests statutory changes, including time limitations and the creation of presumptions and safe harbor rules, that might better balance infrastructure development needs with local autonomy.

Keywords: telecommunications, national security, land use planning, infrastructure, environment

JEL Classification: H540, H700, K320, L960, Q580

Suggested Citation

Eagle, Steven J., Wireless Telecommunications, Infrastructure Security, and the NIMBY Problem. Catholic University Law Review, Vol. 54, No. 2, pp. 445-496, Winter 2005; George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 04-40. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=591249

Steven J. Eagle (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School, Faculty ( email )

3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

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