Aspen Leaders Make Rules for Governing 5G Small Cell Infrastructure


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The FCC decision to streamline the process for deploying new antennas for 5G wireless service is in effect and Aspen is working to update its rules governing wireless infrastructure.

The FCC order shortens a local government’s timeframe to review small cell applications and prevents local governments from collecting excessive permitting and use fees, reported the Aspen Daily News. The rules also mandate that wireless providers have access to public rights-of-way to install the antennas. 

Currently, Aspen does not use local ROWs, opting instead for building rooftops.

Andrea Bryan, assistant city attorney,  Philip Supino from the community development department and Paul Schultz, the city’s director of information technology, will meet with city council in a work session to discuss the small cell/5G issue and introduce new language to regulate the antennas. Cities can still write rules for spacing, height, and other zoning concerns, however, they can’t ban the technology, Bryan said.

The new code will encourage “co-locating” infrastructure for multiple carriers on the same site, using a “neutral host,” Bryan and Schultz said. Additionally, Schultz said the city aims to serve the somewhat competing goals of having the best possible wireless service while minimizing visual impacts and clutter.

According to Bryan, she hopes to have the new code adopted by early March, though no formal applications by wireless providers have been submitted yet, reported the Daily News.  Comments? Email Us.

January 28, 2019

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