A federal judge today told a wireless company to do a better job of filling out applications the next time it wants to install some of those utility poles/wireless transmitters in Cambridge.
In a ruling today, US District Court Judge Allison Boroughs dismissed a lawsuit by Extenet Systems against the Cambridge Pole and Conduit Commission over the commission's decision to reject five of the company's proposed "small cell wireless installations" in the city because its applications did not specify how the company would power the wireless devices or how data would be fed into them.
ExteNet, which replaces old light poles with girthier poles encasing wireless transmitters and antennas, all connected via a fiber-optic network to wireless carriers for a fee, said the rejection represented discrimination against it and inhibited the provision of "personal wireless services," a violation of federal telecommunications law.
Poppycock, Burroughs wrote, although in more words and with numerous legal citations, for example:
Where ExteNet’s complaint and its original applications fail to show the existence of a coverage gap, it is impossible to infer that the denial of ExteNet’s applications has the effect of prohibiting the provision of wireless services.
The company also failed to show how answering questions about how it would provide power and data connectivity to the new poles is somehow discriminatory or prevents the company from competing in Cambridge, the judge ruled, adding the company failed to prove that Cambridge had allowed competitors to put in similar poles without answers to its questions.
Also: Extenet knew the answer to both questions - it would lease the transmitters to AT&T, which would provide both power and the data - but the company decided not to seek an allowed extension to amend the applications with the information.