Small Cell 101-NATE (Natasha Ernst)

Report
Small Cell 101: Building wireless
in the public right of way
Natasha Ernst, Attorney, Channel Law Group
What is an outdoor Small Cell?
 “Small Cell” describes a single DAS node,
micro or pico cell, or remote radio
head/unit (RRH/RRU)
 Small wireless “base stations”
 Typically placed in the public right of way
 DAS nodes and RRHs are connected to
fiber going to a “head end” and BTS
 Attached to utility poles and streetlights,
or placed in new “stealth” poles
 Antenna can be placed in the “comm
space” or on the “pole top”
 Equipment is often placed in a shroud,
with an external disconnect switch and
meter (if not a flat power rate)
Utility Spaces
“Power” or “electric”
space
40” of “safety” space
Antenna & cables in
the “communication”
or “comm” space
Equipment in the
“common” or
“unusable” space
Small Cell Varieties
• Technologically different, but very similar in form
and coverage
Ba
To
Homes
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Fiber Optic Cable in
Communications Space
Antenna
KEY
Equipment Box
Placed on existing utility
poles, streetlights, and
traffic signals
Heavily Regulated

Federal
◦ NEPA Checklist
◦ 224 Pole Attachments

State
◦ Statewide Franchise (CLEC,
wireless carriers)
◦ Pole Attachments
◦ NESC/GO-95 in California
◦ CEQA

Local
◦ Additional permitting with
state and federal limits
Pole Selection
Location: Pole top
v. Comm Space
 Coverage: Pole top
may be necessary
for better coverage
 Structure: Utility
pole, streetlight, or
other
 Agreements: Make
sure agreements in
place or note it will
need to be obtained

Pole Selection

Utility Poles: right to
attach (≈free!)

Street Lights: last resort
($1000-36,000)
NESC v. GO 95

NESC Rule239H:
Communication cables shall
be covered with a suitable
non-metallic material
extending 40-inches above
the highest supply
conductor.

Pole Owner Standards:
Many electric utilities choose
4 feet.

But in California . . .
General Order 95 Rule 94.4:
4-feet over secondary, 6-feet
over primary.
Construction

Make-ready
 FCC States: Strict makeready timelines
 Certified states: Vary
from strict to non

Jurisdiction
 Obtain construction &
electrical permits

Turn up
 Fiber connection
 PIM & sweeps test
Local Governments: New Poles

Slim line lamp post

“alternate” forms
Equipment: Example Antennas

Omni Antennas:
Kathrein quasi-omni
is the most popular

Panel Antennas: 2’
directional antennas are
used for precise targets
Equipment: Example Boxes

DAS nodes, Remote Radio Heads, and micro or pico
cells are different, but may all be placed in similar, if
not identical, shrouds.
DAS: CommScope ION-M
Alcatel Lucent RRH
Alcatel Lucent Metro Cell
Please contact with further questions:
NATASHA ERNST
Channel Law Group, LLP
Office: 408.502.9900
Mobile: 206.419.9800
[email protected]

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