5G Is Coming to Mitchell City, South Dakota

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Already the home of the world’s only Corn Palace, Mitchell City plans to welcome in 5G on their own terms, reports MitchellRepublic.com.  The Mitchell Planning Commission isn’t sure yet just how much modification they will need, but city leaders are bracing for its arrival. SDN Communications and Verizon have met with the council to discuss permits that would need to be in place for small cell wireless coverage.

Smaller 32-foot poles have been proposed as the solution to Mitchell City’s telecommunication future. 

Fiber cables would transmit data, and could be tailored to locations like the Corn Palace that attract large crowds. Small cell coverage could also be concentrated in areas where there are coverage gaps, rather than blanketing a large area. Terry Johnson, Mitchell’s deputy public works director, estimated a need for approximately 700 poles with many of the existing ones owned by Northwestern Electric. 

Commission Chairman Jay Larson expressed reservations about overburdening the towers. “If they’ve already got a bunch of junk on them, and you hang a bunch more junk on them, that concerns me,” Larson said. “Maybe I’m overthinking it, but I’m still concerned about it.”

The commission discussed different options to regulate small cell development. Planners would like to see concealment measures enacted, along with height limitations and a review process for non-standard requests.  However, city attorney Justin Johnson noted that the FCC, “put a lot of restrictions and road blocks into what a city can and cannot regulate.”

December 18, 2018

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