Who owns the poles or wires and who can attach equipment?

Streetlight poles are owned and maintained by the City of San Mateo. Wireless service providers that obtain master license agreements with the City are allowed to attach their equipment to streetlight poles after obtaining the appropriate permits. In these cases, the City owns and maintains the streetlight pole while the wireless service provider owns and maintains the small cell equipment.

The majority of wooden poles are operated by the Northern California Joint Pole Association (NCJPA). Utility poles may have several owners on a joint pole, including electric, telephone, and cable providers. The City does not regulate who can or cannot attach to these poles.

All wiring serving the small cell antennas and electric meters are owned and maintained by the wireless service provider.

Show All Answers

1. What are Small Cells?
2. What is Public Right-of-Way?
3. Can the City prohibit the installation of Small Cell facilities?
4. Who regulates limits for radio frequency (RF) emissions?
5. How can I get more information about my health concerns?
6. Do Small Cell facilities require City permits?
7. Does the City’s permit review address the design of Small Cells?
8. Can I appeal an approved Small Cell permit?
9. What Environmental Review are Small Cell facilities subject to?
10. Who owns the poles or wires and who can attach equipment?
11. Can multiple carriers install Small Cells on the same pole?
12. How long does construction take for a Small Cell facility?
13. Do other cities have Small Cell facilities installed?
14. Can the City impose a moratorium or prohibit small cells in residential or school zones?
15. How is it that other cities have prohibited Small Cells near residences?
16. Is there a conflict of interest since the City receives money from all the cell companies?