Telecommunications & Right-Of-Way

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In the highly regulated, rapidly changing telecommunications arena, it seems as if there are new issues facing municipalities almost every day. With telecommunications infrastructure representing a key driver of economic development, municipalities need to not only manage these challenges, but also understand the various options for maximizing value and ensuring continued growth over the long-term.

The public law attorneys of Walter | Haverfield have a long track record in advising municipalities on how to manage all of their telecommunications agreements. We stay abreast of the numerous regulatory and technological changes to ensure our clients are not only compliant, but also in the best position to negotiate agreements that are in the best interests of the community.

We have the industry knowledge and experience to assist municipalities with the following:

  • Development and management of comprehensive public right of way (PROW) management ordinances.
  • Assessment of public right of way fees in accordance with Ohio law.
  • Negotiation of pole attachment and right of way use agreements relative to the installation of small cell and distributed antenna system (DAS) wireless telecommunications facilities.
  • Updates regarding state and federal legal requirements applicable to communications tower proceedings.
  • Counseling regarding federal and state law requirements relative to small cell communications equipment in public right of way, including FCC shot clock considerations and accelerated timetables for local review under Section 6409 of the Spectrum Act.
  • Negotiation of franchise agreements, renewals and transfers.
  • Strategic planning to maximize telecommunications for economic development.


The Telecommunications & Right-Of-Way group’s experience and services include the following:

The Telecommunications group serves as special counsel for municipalities in the development and administration of comprehensive public right-of-way (PROW) management ordinances. 

Additional areas of expertise include:

  • Wireless Facilities Regulation
  • Wireless Towers
  • Fiber Communications Systems
  • Municipal Broadband
  • Telecommunications as a tool for economic development
U.S. News - Best Lawyers® 2015 “Best Law Firms” rankings:
  • METROPOLITAN TIER1: Municipal Law

According to U.S. News - Best Lawyers®, firms included in this year's listing "...are recognized for professional excellence with persistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. Achieving a tiered ranking signals a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise." This year's ratings were based upon the largest number of participating firms and the highest number of client ballots since these rankings were initiated - more than 17,000 attorneys provided nearly 600,000 law firm evaluations, and almost 7,500 clients also participated in the evaluation process.

U.S. News - Best Lawyers® explained, "Ranked firms, presented in tiers, are listed on a national and/or metropolitan scale. Receiving a tier designation reflects the high level of respect a firm has earned among other leading lawyers and clients in the same communities and the same practice areas for their abilities, their professionalism and their integrity."

2014 rankings:
  • Metropolitan Tier 1 - Municipal Law
2013 rankings:
  • Metropolitan Tier 1 - Municipal Law
2012 rankings: 
  • Metropolitan Tier 1 - Municipal Law

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