The City and Residents Ask if Small Cells Are the Answer
On Monday, January 8, the Shreveport, Louisiana infrastructure committee began discussions on whether to bring small cell towers into area neighborhoods, to improve service. The Shreveport Timesreported that the small cells are meant to expand wireless capabilities and also speed up internet connections, especially since 20 billion devices are estimated to be connected to the internet by 2020, according to Gartner.
Councilman Jeff Everson is encouraging residents to weigh in on the decision, especially since small cells emit radio frequencies, the health effects of which are still largely unknown, according to research. Everson said, “We want to get feedback about how people feel about this and how disruptive they feel this will be. We want to know what people are comfortable with and what they are not.”
Since AT&T and Verizon have already approached the city about establishing small cells, city spokeswoman Africa Price said a new ordinance will be proposed to establish standards for the location, size and permitting process of the wireless telecommunication facilities, known as WTFs.
Price told the Shreveport Times that the ordinance will try to protect the “aesthetic quality” of the city while “not unduly restricting the development” of needed wireless telecommunication facilities or support structures.
Regarding Monday’s meeting, Price added that “There will be opportunity for input. WTFs are expected to eventually be placed in residential neighborhoods throughout the city, and the input and participation from both citizens and industry is highly encouraged.”