Dewey Beach Asks ‘Do We Hire a Consultant?’


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UPDATE  After much discussion and debate, the administrators of the Delaware shore town of Dewey Beach are grateful for the technology coming their way but unsure as to how to incorporate it.  

“Frankly we’re grateful we’re getting 5G,” says Commissioner Paul Bauer. “I think that’s a benefit for the people to have that here. The problem is that there’s new poles popping up and with a pole popping up like that, we’re asking questions like: why do you have to put a pole up in the middle of the dune when you have a pole right next to it right here?”

Town Commissioners want answers to their concerns and are looking to engage a consultant to give them some guidelines. For example, they would like a clear understanding of where the right-of-way officially ends and the beach begins. They also want to verify that 5G cell towers in their town meet state and federal requirements. A representative from DelDOT added that the transportation department would also like the option of working with existing structures to deliver cell service, noting, “We do not review these submissions for aesthetics, and DelDOT cannot deny proposed locations if the state and federal requirements are met.”

Bauer’s statement, reported by WRDE-TV, sums up the dichotomy the Delaware seaside community faces regarding connectivity. As previously reported by Inside Towers, residents of Dewey Beach have questioned why they have cell towers planted in the sand while neighboring Rehoboth is able to hide its towers in streetlights. “Big telephone companies just shouldn’t be picking on little towns like us,” said Bauer.

For some residents, like Chris Hayes, aesthetics are everything. “Nobody needs to sit on the beach and use 5G,” said Hayes. “From the beginning of time we’ve been on the beach enjoying it and we haven’t had 5G. There’s no reason we can’t continue to enjoy the beach without 5G.”

Like it or not, 5G is coming, but its arrival and appearance are still evolving. A Verizon spokesperson commented that, “Verizon uses a balanced approach to engineering the best possible network given each local community’s needs. We work over a significant period of time with each city and follow all applicable laws, including local requirements.”

However, others like Dewey Beach Mayor Dale Cooke worries that even when following placement rules, 5G outreach could turn ugly, reports WRDE-TV. “AT&T will show up and T-Mobile will show up and more people like Tilson that are infrastructure providers will show up and can you imagine a picket fence effect of telephone poles on the end of the street,” Cooke said. “It would look horrible.”

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