Verizon's rapid 5G network expansion leads to unfortunate residential cell towers12
You don’t see this everyday. A cell phone tower was built in the middle of the sidewalk. Now the homeowner wants answers. The city says a state law is preventing them from getting the tower removed. Full story at 5. @WOWT6Newspic.twitter.com/LQEZlAa5Fb— Ashly Richardson WOWT (@AshlyWOWT) July 23, 2021
A 5G network expansion's ugly reality
With the advent of 5G, which requires a much denser and more numerous amount of base stations, those ugly ducklings in an urban environment are poised to cause more and more community backlash. Local City Councils usually learn too late and in horror that an FCC rule for "small wireless facilities" would mandate precisely such 5G installations unless the cities submit considerations on aesthetic grounds in a fairly short timeframe.
From the moment a carrier submits a 5G facility request to a town, the locals have 60 days to process it when it comes to pre-existing structures like lamp posts, and 90 days for new construction such as on buildings. That's too short of a notice, and if the councils fail to raise any objection, the FCC rule stipulates, the installation request has to be automatically granted.
Given that there are three major carriers, each with their own 5G network, one could see that the small town charm of many a place could quickly be ruined. According to the National League of Cities, "this can result in clusters of small cells that are visually unappealing and detract from the aesthetic of the community."
Needless to say, the FCC has made approving 5G base stations on existing infrastructure easier for a reason - American competitiveness in the global push who will cover their nation with the next-gen connectivity standard the fastest. Small cell facilities are a big part of that project, as 5G base stations may need to be just a few hundred feet apart to blanket the locals with ultrafast coverage.
This is why the FCC rule has fast-tracked the small cell facility rollout procedures by mandating a very short window for approval, and capping the amounts that towns can charge for these 5G clusters on utility poles or lamps.