SOURCE: NextG Networks

NextG Networks

March 11, 2010 12:38 ET

Federal Court Rejects Nassau County, New York Homeowners Association's Attempt to Halt Wireless Deployment by NextG Networks

Court Agrees NextG Deployments of DAS Facilities Promote National Wireless Objectives in Support of the Federal Telecommunications Act

SAN JOSE, CA--(Marketwire - March 11, 2010) -  NextG Networks, Inc. announced today that a federal court in New York has dismissed a lawsuit against NextG Networks and other defendants, including the Town of Hempstead, New York in connection with its deployment of a distributed antenna system (DAS) in the community of Merrick within the Town of Hempstead. In rejecting the claims of the Merrick Gables Homeowners Association, the court recognized the overriding public policy promoting the deployment of broadband, competitive wireless networks such as NextG's DAS networks, which enable wireless carriers to add greater coverage and capacity to their networks.

The residents' lawsuit challenged NextG's installation of DAS equipment on existing utility poles in the public right of way under an agreement with the Town of Hempstead and claimed that NextG's network had caused property values to drop because of the perceived health risks of radio frequency (RF) emissions associated with the DAS equipment. The suit also alleged that the DAS installations amounted to a "nuisance" and an unconstitutional "taking" of their property and that the Town was negligent in allowing NextG to deploy. 

The federal court dismissed the entire lawsuit and held that federal law "clearly prohibits" towns from regulating the installation of wireless facilities based on perceptions of health risks associated with RF emissions. The court also rejected claims that the Town was negligent in allowing NextG's installations on utility poles in the public way. 

The court also dismissed claims that the Town had breached a promise to its residents in 2000 to impose a moratorium on wireless installations and explained that the federal Communications Act prohibited the Town from adopting such a moratorium on the installation of wireless facilities. 

Finally, the court rejected the claim that NextG's installations amounted to a "nuisance." The court emphasized that the federal Telecommunications Act sought to create a "national framework to accelerate the deployment of wireless telecommunications technology," and concluded that NextG's network could not be a "nuisance" in light of Congressional intent to promote the deployment of wireless networks.

"NextG is pleased that the court has confirmed that the Merrick Gables claims were meritless and inconsistent with well-established law and policy," said Patrick Ryan, NextG's Vice President Government Relations & Regulatory Affairs. "NextG seeks to work cooperatively with local authorities and community groups in its deployment of low-impact networks that help residents get the advanced wireless services they demand." 

"NextG's deployment on utility poles in the public rights of way is recognized by many localities and residents as a preferred method of getting today's wireless services out to customers," added Mr. Ryan. "NextG's equipment is smaller in size than many other installations on utility poles, and we are now hearing positive feedback about the improved wireless coverage."

NextG's systems enable carriers to improve performance in their wireless networks by increasing voice quality, improving call handling, reducing the number of dropped calls, extending mobile coverage, speeding file transfers, and enhancing video quality. In February 2010, NextG announced that it has launched more than 5,000 sites nationwide.

About NextG Networks®
NextG Networks is a leader in outdoor DAS systems, using fiber-fed distributed antenna systems to operate carrier-class wireless networks. With its proprietary fiber-optic architecture and expertise in public way access, NextG designs, permits, builds, operates, and manages DAS systems. NextG's DAS systems are protocol-neutral, enabling them to support multiple wireless carriers, services, and technologies. NextG provides RF transport and backhaul services to wireless service providers over discrete, multi-frequency, scalable networks that improve wireless service coverage, capacity and performance. Headquartered in San Jose, California, NextG operates wholly-owned regional subsidiaries throughout the United States. For information, visit NextG Networks online at www.nextgnetworks.net.

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