Poor Reception For Legislation Concerning Cell Phone Towers

A bill that attempts to streamline the application process to build cell phone towers in North Carolina is getting a poor reception by local governments.

Wireless industry groups argue the current process is pricey and slow on many occasions. They point to tens of thousands of dollars they often must pay so cities and counties can hire consultants to review company applications.

The cities and counties are opposed to the changes, saying they'll have to spend taxpayer dollars to make up any difference between the costs and a proposed cap on consultant fees.

Senate David Hoyle is the bill sponsor. He says the industry just wants some cost certainty and the ability to build out the wireless phone market in North Carolina.

Anita Watkins is a lobbyist representing the state's towns and cities. She suggests other legislation that would reduce the local governments' reliance on consultants while still making sure these permits get careful review.