Lobbyists interested in getting bills through the General Assembly in what promises to be a quick 2014 session have hit upon one formula for success: Work it out ahead of time.
A committee of the Georgia House of Representatives unanimously approved a telecommunications bill Thursday resulting from a compromise reached between industry representatives and lobbyists for local governments.
The two sides buried the hatchet in negotiations last fall over a bill aimed at speeding up the permitting and construction of cellphone towers.
Supporters say current restrictions cities and counties place on the process is too cumbersome and needs streamlining to keep pace with growing demand for wireless phone and Internet service.
Wireless demand in the U.S. is expected to increase by 850 percent between 2012 and 2017, Bob Davis, director of state government affairs for Verizon, told members of the House Energy, Utilities & Telecommunications Committee. By 2015, the majority of Americans will be using wireless, he said.