Mar 21, 2017 - 10:17 AM
My experience is that the muni's don't have sufficient expertise to review applications to even know if this is occurring. The plans are submitted, and in many cases, if the applying entity has a public utility designation from the state, the muni is powerless to do much about it.
That being said, it really doesn't make much sense for a tower company to build infrastructure for the anticipation that there might be some future revenue from it with some rare situations where the poles are unique. Recognize though in many states, if an existing pole isn't available, a utility has the right to build a new pole with some exceptions. (where the utility has already restricted any above ground poles).
I have heard that some tower companies and fiber providers are designing networks of small cells in anticipation of wireless carriers eventually being interested.