Chicago, Ill. – October 7, 2021 – ExteNet Systems, the leading private owner and provider of 5G infrastructure and neutral host solutions, can proceed with construction of 10 small wireless facilities in the Village of Plandome, NY following a Federal District Court ruling that will have implications on the regulation of small cell wireless networks beyond this deployment in Plandome.
On September 30, 2021, Federal Judge Gary R. Brown of the Eastern District of New York ordered the Village of Plandome to “issue all necessary permits and authorizations” to allow ExteNet to proceed with its construction of the small wireless facilities which will enhance wireless access for residents of the north shore of Long Island. ExteNet initially approached the Village for such permits in 2017 and worked with the Village to design minimize the number of facilities and the aesthetic impact of such. In November of 2019 the Village denied ExteNet’s application and ExteNet timely brought the instant Court action pursuant to the Federal Communications Act.
In response to ExteNet’s long path toward approval, Judge Brown noted that “it was [ExteNet] who engaged in good faith in a particularly arduous and drawn-out application review process for over a year, only to have its application denied on mere pretense.”
Judge Brown noted that the Village’s court pleadings “are rich in heated invective but poor in supporting facts or law” and found that the Village attempted to “entertain an unsubstantiated caricature of [ExteNet] more befitting of a Disney villain than a, frankly, rather quotidian wireless service contractor.”
According to ExteNet’s counsel, Chris Fisher of the law firm, Cuddy & Feder, “We are pleased the Court recognized ExteNet’s good faith efforts to work with the Village to improve wireless service in the community. Particularly given an extraordinary local process not applied to other utilities and a permit denial after nearly a year of efforts. This is a significant ruling for the wireless industry and reiterates the limited scope of local regulatory authority municipalities have over small cell wireless infrastructure in the right of way under state and federal law and that community opposition alone is not a basis for denying a wireless application.”
“ExteNet is pleased with this outcome, and we look forward to deploying improved cellular wireless coverage for the residents, businesses, and visitors of Plandome. We expect the Village to issue all permits at its next regularly scheduled Board meeting so we can offer the community enhanced cellular wireless services by the end of 2021,” stated ExteNet VP and Associate General Counsel for Regulatory Affairs, Michael A. Hill.
ExteNet was represented by Brendan Goodhouse and Christopher B. Fisher of Cuddy & Feder LLP and Haran C. Rashes, ExteNet’s Assistant General Counsel.
The case is ExteNet Systems Inc. v. Village of Plandome et al., U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York Docket no. 2:19-cv-07054