T-Mobile Sues Massachusetts City Over Denial of Wireless Facility Permit

A lawsuit filed late last week has accused the City of Revere, Massachusetts and its city council of illegally barring T-Mobile Northeast LLC from erecting a wireless telecommunications facility. The Communications Act complaint asks for a court order directing Revere to grant T-Mobile’s application for the proposed facility, reportedly part of an integral network of stations that form the backbone of reliable user service.  

The filing explains that T-Mobile’s proposed facility would be part of a network of “cell sites,” stations designed to send and receive radio signals, and would include roof-mounted antennae concealed within two fiberglass enclosures, and related equipment.

The telecom provider allegedly complied with Revere’s requirements by demonstrating that the proposed facility would comply with the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) regulations governing radio frequency (RF) emissions. The company also submitted evidence demonstrating other eligibility criteria including “regulatory compliance, security of the facility, lighting, advertising concerns, visual impacts and landscaping issues.”

According to T-Mobile, Revere denied its application on the basis that frequencies generated from its proposed 5G antennae possibly pose an RF emissions-related public health risk. AT&T explains that, however, the Communications Act prohibits local governments from denying wireless installations based on the environmental effects of RF emissions.

The lawsuit also argues that there was no other basis for the city’s denial of T-Mobile’s application. As such, the complaint states a claim for unlawful denial on the basis of environmental effects of RF emissions as well as one for lack of substantial evidence and effective prohibition of personal wireless services.

T-Mobile seeks injunctive relief, namely the approval of its application, and expedited treatment of its case. T-Mobile is represented by Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo P.C.