Cellphone canister antenna bill advances in legislature

HARTFORD >> State Sen. Gayle Slossberg, D-Milford, announced the bipartisan committee passage of Senate Bill 536, which she introduced to give residents a voice in the cellphone canister antenna siting process.

Now that the bill has passed in the Energy and Technology Committee, it will move to the calendar of the Senate for further consideration.

This has become a controversial issue around the state, particularly in West Haven, where Verizon attempted to install an antenna in a densely populated neighborhood, despite opposition from residents.

“This bill is about leveling the playing field between telecommunications giants who want to install antennas throughout our communities and the residents who would be impacted by it,” Slossberg said in a written release.

“West Haven won its fight when Verizon tried to force the questionable placement of an antenna, but it was a long, difficult ordeal.

“This bill establishes a process that gives everyone a seat at the table and ensures that any future antenna installation will be done at a location that works best for the company that wants it and the Connecticut residents who will live with it.”

Slossberg’s bill would establish a statewide plan and process for siting these small cell canister antennas, similar to the process for cellphone towers.

“Critical, would be participation by the municipality where an antenna may be placed, along with members of the community.

“It would give community members and elected officials a voice in the siting of these small canister antennas.