Vertical Infrastructure in the Public Right-of-Way - Intake Process

Cellular and wireless providers are looking to install and expand networks of small cells throughout urban areas to improve coverage, quality, resilience and increase cellular network capacity to meet the increasing demand on their current networks served by cell towers (also known as macro cells).
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INTAKE AND REVIEW PROCESS – Information for Franchised Wireless Carriers

In response to the Federal Communication Commission’s order (FCC 18-133) related to the deployment of personal wireless service facilities, effective January 2019, the City of Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) has created an intake and review process for personal wireless service facility applications.

Vertical infrastructure facilities available within the public right-of-way (ROW) at this time are either City owned assets such as street light and traffic signal poles or non-City owned (3rd Party) utility poles.

Wireless facilities may be allowed in the public ROW subject to the terms of a master lease agreement with the City of Portland and must comply with conditions defined in PBOT Vertical Infrastructure Administrative Rules (TRN 10.44.

Intake and Review Process 

When receiving requests for small cell installations in the public ROW, PBOT will evaluate the permits based on conditions set forth in PBOT VI Administrative Rules (TRN 10.44)

If the request meets permitting requirements and follows City standards and specifications for installation, PBOT staff may grant a street opening permit to allow the proposed equipment to be placed subject to any improvements required to structurally support or otherwise accommodate the proposed small cell equipment.  Application review timelines may vary depending on the type of personal wireless service equipment proposed and the specific vertical infrastructure facility requested. 

City-owned assets that are currently unable to structurally support the additional equipment will be required to pursue a “mini-public works” (Make Ready) process to design and construct an engineered facility that meets the requirements defined in Construction Standards for City-owned Assets.


Reference Links

Placement on non-City owned Utility poles ("3rd Party" poles)

Placement on City-owned infrastructure (Street Light Poles or Traffic Signals)