In a ruling last week, a U.S. District Court ruled in favor of the City of Cambridge, Massachusetts and its Pole and Conduit Commission, and against a lawsuit filed by ExteNet Systems. Judge Allison Burroughs held up the town’s decision to reject five of ExteNet’s proposed small cell wireless installations in the city. The Judge said the developer’s suit did not adequately address denials that its applications for five small cell sites were improper and that they should have received timely notice of their denial.
ExteNet hoped to remove the city’s existing streetlight poles and install its own infrastructure. Although the shot clock was set at 90 days, the Commission did not issue a denial until 118 days had passed. Extenet, however approved a tolling agreement to give the Commission extra time so it was not considered a violation.
The Court said ExteNet did not fully answer questions about how it would provide power and data connectivity to the new poles and the company’s claim that it was discriminated against in the process was overruled.
Burroughs said in her decision: “ExteNet fails to allege that similar service providers have been allowed to build unpowered small wireless facilities. ExteNet ‘builds, owns, and operates wholesale, neutral-host distributed network facilities that improve the coverage and capacity of existing and new wireless networks.’ AT&T is a personal wireless service provider that pays ExteNet to use its facilities. By ExteNet’s own admission, AT&T and ExteNet are not functionally equivalent providers, ExteNet fails to state a claim for unreasonable discrimination under the TCA by claiming that the Defendants would allow an application from AT&T, but not from ExteNet,” Burroughs said in her ruling.
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