Gov. Nixon signs legislation regulating city authority on cell t - KOAM TV 7

Gov. Nixon signs legislation regulating city authority on cell towers

Missouri communities are losing some control over the placement of cell phone towers. Governor Nixon has signed legislation that imposes 19 new restrictions on the way local governments may regulate cell-phone towers.
Local telecommunications companies say the result will be better cell and internet service, but not everyone is happy.

"The bill assures that the people of Missouri have excellent coverage for their cellular and internet coverage." says Guy Voltz, owner of Cell phone Medics in Joplin.
The legislation now places limits on what cities and counties can restrict when it comes to cell phone towers. Among the limits; forbidding city governments from interfering with placing cell phone towers in certain locations, and not allowing city governments to charge excess amounts for placement of approved cell phone towers.

The goal of this legislation isn't to put a cell phone tower in your backyard...but rather provide better cell phone coverage, and faster internet speeds to areas that may not usually see it.

Numerous city officials and city government across the state argued against the bill...including the city of Carthage, which urged the governor to veto the bill.
They say it would take away from cities zoning regulations, disrupting scenery, and perhaps affecting property values. But the new law does allow cities to say no to some tower placements.

One other aspect of this new legislation...opening doors to faster internet speeds.

"The internet service that the cell phone companies provide - that's limited to the distance from the tower. So it's much more restrictive." says Jeff Welborn, owner of Wireless Connections in Joplin.

 Supporters additional towers should provide better cell and internet service to many areas of Missouri. But opponents say it'll come at a price. The Missouri Municipal League had opposed the bill. The group says it's disappointed in the governor's decision to sign it.

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