Napa, California has struggled to roll out a small cell project that will both meet the digital demand for service and pacify residents who object to them. As the Napa Valley Register reports, the small cell situation continues to generate a volatile reaction.
Thanks to a 3-2 vote in Verizon’s favor, installation plans are moving ahead.
An agreement between Napa and Verizon has been in place since 2017. The small cell project includes plans for 54 transmitters. However, Napa has slowed down installation by requiring separate permits each time the company works to set up a site. The delays frequently push the process past the 60-to-90-day permit time limits, making them illegal by default.
The two sides have tried to work together to revise the small cell installation timeline. Under the revised agreement, Napa will have an additional 15 days to review the permits. The next 28 installations of the small cell upgrade will be deemed a pilot project. No additional applications will be considered until the first wave of installations is complete. Verizon will pay engineers to inspect each site to verify that they are within FCC radio emission limits, reports the Napa Valley Register.
Mayor Jill Techel, Vice Mayor Scott Sedgley and council member Mary Luros voted in support of Napa’s small cell project. A number of detractors showed up at the meeting to express their disapproval. Despite cries of “Shame on You” and anti-Verizon signage, the telecom was given the go ahead for the small cell project to improve signal strength and capacity in the highly populated area.
November 8, 2019