Michael Shonafelt

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Top Stories by Michael Shonafelt

Recent legal judgments are going to have a real impact on companies' abilities to place antennas in our cities and countryside. What does it all mean? In the year 1850, Vice President Millard Fillmore replaced a deceased Zachary Taylor as President of the United States, Congress was struggling to keep the Union from self-destructing over the issue of slavery, and the nation was being wired from coast to coast for the telegraphic age. The deployment of Samuel F. B. Morse's revolutionary new technology posed interesting questions for the young nation. Among them was what role states' rights would play in the context of the overriding national interest in facilitating a nationwide telegraph network without regard for state lines. Some states bristled at the idea that a telegraph company with a national charter could run roughshod through local streets and highways, sta... (more)

The Local Threat to Wireless Technology

Across the nation, pitched battles are being waged in city streets. On one side are the wireless telecommunications companies, trying to fulfill their mandate under the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 to provide seamless wireless coverage nationwide by rapidly deploying their facilities in the public rights-of-way. On the other side are the county and municipal governments that seek to use their land use powers to control what goes in their streets and highways. In some instances, local governments have asserted their regulatory powers to completely ban the installation o... (more)