Farragut Residents Have Big Problems With Small Cells


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UPDATE Farragut, TN continues to find itself as a center of debate circling around small cell deployment. Inside Towers reported on a contentious virtual meeting in May that pitted anti-5G sympathizers against officials citing state and federal law allowing for site development. Although some citizens had lobbied for speakers who would address property values and perceived health risks, the meeting featured Professor Christopher Davis of the University of Maryland’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. 

The Knoxville Focus reported Davis reminded the attendees of the findings of the World Health Organization which  “concluded no adverse health effects have been established as being caused by mobile phone use. At certain levels, there is a small possibility that higher use can lead to cancer.” To this, he also added his own personal observation that “The field levels are very low, it is about the same exposure as the light level from the planet Venus.”

Following the meeting, the Citizens Forum addressed the Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen demanding that equal podium time be granted for an organization calling itself the Environmental Health Trust. Executive Director, Theodora Scarato, did speak on behalf of the EHF at a second 5G meeting. She challenged Davis’ conclusions, noting that Venus is much further away than a cell tower in a resident’s front yard. The second meeting also touched on local concerns about property values. 

In addition to the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the state of Tennessee passed a law in 2018, allowing 40 foot cell towers in the right-of-way of individual property owners. Residents who believe the cell towers threaten their home or health were quick to side with Scarato, according to the Knoxville Focus.  

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