T-Mobile and Crown Castle representatives showed FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr a thing or two yesterday as they toured selected small cell sites in Baltimore. Touring sites offering small cell solutions, such as the street pole lights Carr was introduced to, has been part of an information gathering effort on the agency’s part prior to voting on streamlining measures next week.
Carr was told although the basic pole, cabinet, metering, antennas and light infrastructure can cost around $30,000, that cost can triple when additional asphalt patching, street shutdowns, sidewalk repair, landscaping and auxiliary building requirements are added to the mix.
A recent Inside Towers article quoted Carr saying the “small cell deployment process is broken” with plans to eliminate or greatly reduce historic and environmental reviews of the pocket sites.
To date, Crown has built 524 node locations in “Charm City,” supporting one, two and sometimes three wireless carrier tenants with another 583 locations planned. A Crown spokesperson said “as Baltimore takes strides toward becoming a ‘smart city,’ small cells can usher in next-generation networks such as 5G, which can in turn make innovations such as citywide data sharing and autonomous vehicles possible.”
Carr’s efforts have been lauded by industry association leaders. WIA President/CEO Jonathan Adelstein said he appreciates what the Commissioner is doing in an effort to bring sustainable deployment of 5G. CTIA President/CEO Meredith Attwell Baker said Carr is helping modernize outdated infrastructure rules while CCA President/CEO Steven Berry offered his wholehearted support to improving the current regulatory maze.
By Jim Fryer, Managing Editor, Inside Towers
March 16, 2018