The considered problem is that of maximizing the degrees of freedom (DoF) in cellular downlink, under a backhaul load constraint that limits the number of messages that can be delivered from a centralized controller to the base station transmitters. A linear interference channel model is considered, where each transmitter is connected to the receiver having the same index as well as one succeeding receiver. The backhaul load is defined as the sum of all the messages available at all the transmitters normalized by the number of users. When the backhaul load is constrained to an integer level B, the asymptotic per user DoF is shown to equal equation, and it is shown that the optimal assignment of messages to transmitters is asymmetric and satisfies a local cooperation constraint and that the optimal coding scheme relies only on zero-forcing transmit beamforming. Finally, an extension of the presented coding scheme for the case where B = 1 is shown to apply for more general locally connected and two-dimensional networks.