REDMOND, OR -- Redmond’s City Council will learn more about 5G wireless small cell technology at Tuesday night’s Council meeting. Deputy City Manager John Roberts says the tech is coming, "Have you ever been anywhere and you’re using your cell phone, and it shows that you have the wireless bars but it keeps on spinning and you don’t get any connection? That’s exactly what this technology is meant to address: to enable coverage to meet existing coverage needs in areas that are densified."
Roberts tells KBND News, "It’s fairly complex technology and most jurisdictions have realized they don’t have explicit processes or regulatory schemes in place to deal with it." Representatives from Verizon and AT&T will attend Tuesday’s meeting, "To create the awareness and let the industry representatives and experts speak directly to the Council about this technology, demands and complexity of issues that are out there that surround this." And, he says, those issues are being discussed by cities across the country, "There’s concerns in every community with the health and safety aspects of this technology, the aesthetic impacts of this technology, and potential impacts on property values. Those three factors warrant some level of local control."
In September, the FCC passed new rules that speed up development of small cells and other 5G network equipment. But, Roberts says, the rules also restrict local control on things like the aesthetics and placement of towers. He says it's important the city approval local guidelines before those rules take effect January 14.