GVMC DAS Consortium
The Grand Valley Metro Council (GVMC) DAS Consortium is a collaboration of over 20 Michigan cities, villages, and townships that worked collectively with local telecommunication providers and their representatives to establish a model permitting process and fee structure for use of the public rights-of-way.
The Grand Valley Metro Council is a council of governments dedicated to enhancing the quality of life of the people in West Michigan through collaboration among regional partners.
In early 2016, many Grand Valley Metro Council member communities began receiving applications to place DAS/small cell wireless facilities in the public rights-of-way. Some were approved inadvertently under the METRO Act, some inadvertently under electrical permits, and many were denied or put on hold because it was an unknown technology, and the scope of the requests were difficult to discern.
The GVMC DAS Consortium was formed to further investigate this technology, and establish a uniform permitting process for DAS/Small Cell Wireless Facilities.
The consortium objectives were to: (1) be business friendly, (2) create regional consistency, (3) be good stewards of the ROW, (4) recognize the need for increased cellular capacity and (5) recognize our individual community nuances.
Nineteen communities financially backed this initiative, and the following communities participated as part of an Ad Hoc work group: City of Kentwood, City of Wyoming, City of Coopersville, City of East Grand Rapids, Plainfield Township, Alpine Township, Cascade Township, Village of Middleville, Kent County Road Commission and the Grand Valley Metro Council. The team was strategically selected to cover a broad range of stakeholders.
To help achieve our business friendly objectives, our process brought Mobilitie, ACD and Verizon to the table to discuss their technology, and gather their input on our proposed process, documents, fees and approach. These agencies were invited because they were actively pursuing DAS/Small cell wireless installations in West Michigan.