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Santa Monica City Council Denies Appeals of Cell Tower Installation

Up to 600 small-cell wireless facilities may be coming to streets throughout Santa Monica and there is little City officials can do to prevent their installation despite concern from many residents. Small cell wireless facilities are a relatively new form of technology being deployed in densely populated urban environments throughout the country with the goal of increasing network reliability. The City of Santa Monica has approved 76 facilities to-date and the City Officials estimate there could be up to 600 in the future. “As opposed to larger macro cell sites, small cell sites are more compact and they use less power than macro cell sites. Further, small cell sites can be installed on exis

Small Cell Wireless Technology in Cities

From our connected homes, where everything is controlled by the internet, to our workplaces, where reliable broadband access is paramount for almost every type of job, technology is impacting every facet of our daily lives. Cities are inextricably linked to the internet — and the integration of new technologies promises better and more innovative ways to serve our residents. As cities navigate the rapidly-changing policy waters of wireless and infrastructure providers and community residents, a number of considerations for the different stakeholders begin to emerge. Small cell wireless infrastructure in particular, which is increasingly important for wireless broadband deployment and smart c

Cities Release Their Own Broadband Model Code

The National League of Cities has released a model code that municipal leaders can consult when deploying small cell wireless infrastructure, emphasizing local needs over federal and industry interests. Small cells form the backbone of fifth-generation wireless, or 5G, broadband service that internet providers have promised to begin rolling out in 2018. NLC’s model acknowledges “there is no single model code that will work for every jurisdiction” and attempts to balance providers’ desire to densify their networks with city efforts to maintain uncluttered streets and sidewalks ahead of 5G. “We haven’t seen 5G deployment anywhere yet,” Angelina Panettieri, principal associate for technology an

5G hype is coming. Don’t fall for it.

The 5G hype train has almost reached full speed now. We have our first 5G handset accessory, rumors about a 5G smartphone from market leader Samsung, and modem products available from the big chip manufacturers. The U.S. telecommunications market is gearing up to launch its first 5G networks before the year is out ahead of the rest of the world, and a burst of marketing material about exciting new network capabilities has already come out. However, for every reason to be excited about 5G, there’s an equally good reason to hold off on any purchasing decisions just yet. There are risks involved in being an early adopter, and we don’t you to waste your hard earned money. LTE is fast enough The

Tiny Doylestown Borough battled Verizon over 5G and won a big settlement

When Verizon Communications Inc. proposed dozens of 5G small-cell antennas along streets in Doylestown Borough, the reaction was a defiant no. Residents thought the boxy equipment that sprouted five-foot antennas on traffic lights or telephone poles would mar the borough's Norman Rockwell charm, along with the artsy aura of its Victorian homes. Others feared for their health with intensive 5G wireless services zapping them. Doylestown officials spent $150,000, held 10 public hearings, and fought the small cell proposal in state and federal courts over more than a year, defending their right to say where the small cells would go — a David-vs.-Goliath tale of a small Pennsylvania town taking

FCC’s State Broadband Model Remains a Work in Progress

A Federal Communications Commission panel trying to hash out model state laws guiding broadband infrastructure expansion remains mired in conflict, with local government representatives saying proposals would preempt their authority. Local representatives on the Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee agree the code should be a framework for small cell wireless infrastructure deployment, which will be crucial as internet providers move to fifth-generation wireless technology. But, so far, there isn’t consensus on the panel about what that should look like. All 30 members were able to unanimously agree on the Model Code for Municipalities, when they last met on July 26 and 27. But they didn’t

AT&T, Verizon take aim at Lincoln, Nebraska, as small cell battle goes local

The wireless industry continues to urge regulators at the federal, state and local levels to make it cheaper and easier for network operators and others to install wireless equipment including small cells in new locations. And some of the nation’s biggest operators are starting to single out specific cities charging what they argue are excessive small cell deployment fees. It appears that the officials in Lincoln, Nebraska, have emerged as some of the industry’s primary antagonists. “Verizon recently concluded that it would not deploy additional small cells in Lincoln, NE, at this time because of the $1,995/year attachment rate,” the operator said in a new filing with the FCC(PDF). “AT&T has

Cities and towns do not like the 5G bill slipping through Pennsylvania's legislature

A bill that would limit what local governments can charge telecommunications companies to install small-cell antennas in anticipation of the next generation of wireless technology is barreling through the Pennsylvania state legislature. The bill, as currently written, sets the rates at which cities, towns and counties throughout the commonwealth can charge telecom companies at $100 for installing a new antennas on municipal utility poles and $25 for annual fees. The legislation, which is backed by a bipartisan group of 35 members of the Pennsylvania House, is unpopular with local governments, which say it will limit their abilities to regulate access to public property and control their own

Bill seeking to get PA ready for 5G technology strikes a nerve with local government groups

Legislation that would pave the way to faster Internet service and expand its capacity particularly in suburban and urban parts of Pennsylvania is getting some lawmakers' attention in Harrisburg this summer. The House Consumer Affairs Committee on Thursday will hold a hearing at the Capitol to gather testimony about a bill that cuts wireless companies some breaks to speed up the approval process for placing antennas in public rights of way. House Bill 2564, sponsored by Rep. Frank Farry, R-Bucks County, would streamline and make uniform across the state the rules and fees associated with placing these short-range pizza box-sized antennas on existing utility poles, new poles and other structu

Legal Battle Over Small Cell Exemptions Grows

UPDATE - Sprint and CTIA are now officially backing up the FCC’s position in the D.C. Circuit Court on the small cells case filed by Native American Tribes and the Natural Resources Defense Council. The Tribes and NRDC oppose the agency’s March rule change to exempt small cell infrastructure deployment on non-Tribal lands from environmental and historic review. So does the National Trust for Historic Preservation in the United States, which has now joined the case. More Tribes have filed to join the legal fray as well, according to court documents examined by Inside Towers. They include the Tonkawa Tribe of Oklahoma, Peoria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma, Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes, Mescalero

Building A Smart City? 10 Big Priorities Government Leaders Should Focus On

The internet of things (IoT) has given rise to the smart home and smart office, with automated, internet-controlled devices like thermostats, security systems and connected home speakers. Now, urban areas around the world are investing in IoT to create smart cities, which are designed to improve efficiency and quality of life through data and technology. Statista reports that global smart city spending will reach $34.35 billion, more than double the 2015 spending of $14.85 billion. With so many potential areas for improvement through smart technology, government leaders need to prioritize the projects that will do the most good. Here's what Forbes Technology Council members believe up-and-co

PA's 5G wireless bill stirs up fears that it will cater to telecom and gut towns' zoning

A bipartisan group of 35 Pennsylvania House members, led by Rep. Frank Farry (R., Langhorne), are sponsoring legislation that would grease the bureaucratic wheels in local governments so that wireless companies can place thousands of 5G mini-cell antennas near roads, or in other publicly controlled rights of way. 5G is the next generation of wireless service that could lead to driver-less cars and robotic deliveries. The proposed legislation, introduced July 13 — and heavily lobbied by wireless carriers that support it — could avoid lawsuits over disputes on the small cell antennas in their towns, lawmakers say. Elected representatives from virtually all of the state’s metropolitan areas sig

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