Letter: Small towers, antennas the future of wireless

Posted 4/14/21

To the editor:

Municipal Communications and their local attorney are not only trying to impose upon our community an egregious monster cell tower that will confront and affront us every time we …

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Letter: Small towers, antennas the future of wireless

Posted

To the editor:

Municipal Communications and their local attorney are not only trying to impose upon our community an egregious monster cell tower that will confront and affront us every time we walk, bike or drive by for decades. They are also proposing a technology that is already obsolete and likely to be bypassed by existing technologies that will render it useless within a few years. 

Westport will be left to deal with this blight. That is not just my opinion but a view that was expressed three years ago by the Federal Communications Commission.

In an FCC document supporting a ruling on “Accelerating Wireless Broadband Deployment by Removing Barriers to Infrastructure Investment,” adopted: September 26, 2018, < https://aboutblaw.com/NFU>  the following statements appear:

“While the existing wireless infrastructure in the U.S. was erected primarily using macro cells with relatively large antennas and towers, wireless networks increasingly have required the deployment of small cell systems to support increased usage and capacity. We expect this trend to increase with next generation networks, as demand continues to grow, and providers deploy 5G service across the nation.”

The challenge for policymakers is that the deployment of these new networks will look different than the 3G and 4G deployments of the past. Over the last few years, providers have been increasingly looking to densify their networks with new small cell deployments that have antennas often no larger than a small backpack. 

From a regulatory perspective, these raise different issues than the construction of large, 200-foot towers that marked the 3G and 4G deployments of the past. Indeed, estimates predict that upwards of 80 percent of all new deployments will be small cells going forward. To support advanced 4G or 5G offerings, providers must build out small cells at a faster pace and at a far greater density of deployment than before. 

The chairman of the FCC added: 

“But all the spectrum in the world won’t matter if we don’t have the infrastructure needed to carry 5G traffic. New physical infrastructure is vital for success here. That’s because 5G networks will depend less on a few large towers and more on numerous small cell deployments—deployments that for the most part don’t exist today.”

Even the CEO of AT&T Communications, Jeff McElfresh recently stated:

"Fiber is a durable solution and a superior technology to address the demands for broadband. The large consumption that we are anticipating over the next five years will be hard to meet with a wireless-only solution.”

Why is MC proposing this tower? The answer is BBSW: “Borrow, Build, Sell and Walk.”

What should we do? Reject and PFF: “Prepare For the Future!”

David C. Cole

Westport

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.