Broadband bill could strip local authority

broadband bill

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A bill intended to expand broadband access to rural Iowans also includes language that could limit the ability of local governments to regulate the placement of cell towers.

Both the state Senate and House are wrangling with details on the so-called Connect Every Iowan Act. In an effort to increase cellular and wireless coverage as well, the House has included provisions to streamline the cell tower siting application process across the state.

This has prompted opposition from some city officials who argue they are being stripped of their authority in tower placement decisions.

Lawmakers say it’s not their intention to remove local authority, and that they will work to find common ground for all parties involved.

Subcommittees in both chambers plan to meet to discuss the legislation next week.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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