List,

In a few days I am meeting with county officials to address the regulations, building codes, and permitting process for WISP's. When I first approached them over a year ago with the desire to build a tower-less AP on a hill side (electrical cabinet, solar, sector antenna - very simple...), I was handed the building regulations for "Wireless Communications Facilities", ie, cell phone towers (think $50k+, & contractors are the only ones who can touch it). I then tried to explain that what I am doing is of a different scope and scale, but no dice. Now, after being patient and pursuing the right contacts, I will get my 5 minutes. The people I am meeting with are only vaguely aware of wireless internet technology and didn't seem to know what exactly I was talking about (although there are several wisps operating in the large cities in the county, where the codes are the most rigid...). Over the phone I explained it in terms of, "outdoor, large-scale wifi", and that people install $200 AP's on grain silos, and that the $50k per AP just is not a good fit for this emerging industry. They seemed very open and even glad that someone would address this, even mentioning reforming the regulations because of the "increasing technology".

Therefore, I have inadvertently become the WISP ambassador in my County, if only for a moment, and I want to do it right. Will you help me prepare for this meeting? They would like pictures, drawings, etc. Also, I want to have a good outline of what we, as the operators and constructors, think the building requirements should be. I especially want to contrast the shortcomings of the cell tower regulations on topics such as:


1. Site Access & Off-The-Street parking: they want a 2 lane road to all "commercial structures". I'd like to have to take a ATV 2 hours up a cliff and repel down the side just as a vandalism deterrent (a little exaggerated of course, but the great AP sites are all the toughest to get to). 2. Contractors Do All The Work: I want to build the unit myself, turn-key style; if a contractor has to sit it on the ground or bolt it to a pole that's OK.

3. Permit Required: Do I need a permit for every AP? Do the mesh/muni guys have to apply for a permit with full engineering drawings, site plan showing all utilities, & signatures of every property owner within 1000' (the cell tower regs require this...), and a public hearing that has a 3 month wait list?

4.  6' tall fence around all AP's: no explanation necessary.

5. Operational Certificate By a Professional Engineer: Mostly wind load language here...

6. Being Bonded To An Insurer For The Price Of Removal: In case you abandon your "tower", to pay for someone to take it down.

The area I am trying to serve is rural and mostly a retirement community with low income. My service has to match. It has to be built cheaply, and the regs just don't allow it, not for anyone that wants a ROI.

Any ideas are more than welcome, and if my documents turn out good enough, I'll submit them to the list for others to recycle during their 5 minutes.
Sorry for writing a novel,
Jason
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