Why I should join PROTEC!
22 years ago, a group of Michigan municipalities, together with the leadership of the Michigan Municipal League (MML), determined that there was a need to form a special consortium of communities for the purpose of focusing on the various issues affecting our Rights of Way (ROW). The immediate concerns at that time included efforts by the telecommunications industry to access our ROW with little or no local regulation - and for free, without covering actual costs to the community, let alone market-based rents. PROTEC fought hard on these issues. Several years later, PROTEC led the charge on opposing PA 480, The Uniform Video Services Local Franchise Act. Both Acts ended far better than they started as a result, in no small part, of PROTEC’s contribution to the local community team, and pressing for fair market value fees and local control.
When a couple years ago, AT&T cut several million dollars from their Metro Fees which are paid to all of us, it was PROTEC alone that objected and fought through that issue until AT&T recanted their position and paid the balance owed.
When the wireless industry claimed a 12-year-old regulation allowed wireless facilities in our ROW for free and unregulated, it was PROTEC alone that successfully challenged that regulation and had it terminated.
Today, we continue to lead Michigan communities in addressing that same telecom industry, as well as opposing proposals such as ITC’s 100 foot electric transmission towers and lines right down community main streets, as well as the ROW inroads being attempted by the pipeline industry.
PROTEC has a proud history of close collaboration with our local community partners including MML, MTA, MAC, CRA, CWW, CEW, GVMC, NATOA, The Alliance, The Washington based Pipeline Safety Trust and Telecommunity and many more partners across Michigan and the Country, on these complex and increasingly demanding industry demands.
This very hour, our battle again concerns the intrusion of wireless facilities into the ROW and new legislation that would reverse the last 4 years of local effort to reach rational accommodations with the industry. Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) and Small Cells which the industry claims require 34 cubic feet of monstrous equipment on towers reaching vertically as high as 120 feet are the threat. SB 637, the industry bill, is moving again and now largely unopposed but for PROTEC.
Our need is great. The current wireless ROW issues permeate not only the State of Michigan, but reach Washington where the FCC and Congress are also moving on these issues. Keeping track of and coordinating responses to these industry efforts to eliminate local governance is a full time job with current PROTEC funding at post 2008 levels amounting to only a part time budget.
We need you, your community and your support now more than ever.
If you receive free updates from PROTEC that you find helpful, if you receive all your Metro Act Funds, if you receive all your Cable franchise and/or PEG fees today, understand all those benefits come directly and in no small measure, as a result of the dues paying members of PROTEC.