1. Expansion of wireless services and users is increasing rapidly. Today in the United States over 80% of households now have a wireless phone, and wireless phones outnumber wireline phones by a margin of about two to one. According to federal statistics, , there are more U.S. households that only have a wireless phone than households that only have a traditional wireline phone. Portland's wireless penetration rates appear to be slightly higher than the national average.
2. Wireless telecommunications providers use city rights-of-way to site facilities for the delivery, conveyance, and transmission of wireless telecommunications, for the enhancement of the health, welfare, and general economic well-being of the city and its citizens. Initially the wireless providers tended to place their facilities on utility poles in larger and busier streets.
3. In 2002, Council approved Resolution No. 36089, adopting a template for wireless right-of-way agreements. The Council adopted this template to promote the orderly use of city right of way by wireless providers and ensure they were all treated similarly. From 2003 through 2006 the wireless providers and the city negotiated individual wireless right-of-way agreements, which Council approved by ordinance.
4. Because of increasing wireless usage and demand, there is a growing need for antennas and other facilities in residential areas. There are fewer siting options in residential areas, so staff and industry anticipate that there will be increased requests for facilities in those areas. Siting in residential areas can result in conflicts with neighbors.
5. In response to these emerging problems, City staff worked to develop new and refined terms and conditions for the wireless agreements to protect neighborhoods while ensuring the provision of adequate wireless services. To facilitate wireless facility planning and siting, staff has developed a wireless application form, and a map of all city streets indicating their priority for wireless facility siting. The general public and wireless industry have been notified of the form and map, and a series of public and industry meetings were held. Staff recommends that the Council approve the application form and the siting map as formal, binding City policies.