Salt Lake City Maps 5G Tower Expansion

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Wonder if a 5G cell tower is about to pop up in your neighborhood? Residents in Salt Lake City, Utah can now check an interactive map. As the Salt Lake City Tribune reports, clicking on the map will show users if a permit for a 5G transmitter has been issued for a right-of-way near them.

The map includes information such as which of the four wireless carriers in the area requested the permit. What will not be indicated is whether a permit has been denied or revoked, only that it was requested. More importantly, it will not show “preliminary” tower requests that are not yet part of the public record.  

The requested 5G locations “become public information once permitted,” explained Chris Norlem, a city construction program manager. A Verizon spokesperson added that the company “does not discuss future network build plans publicly.”

City officials have said that a state ruling passed in 2018 gives wireless providers a lot of freedom when it comes to cell tower placement. So long as tower equipment does not create a traffic hazard, use of the public right-of-way is unlimited. The same officials have stated that they would prefer that the providers make use of existing structures but cannot mandate that they do.

“The laws in place … are extremely industry friendly,” city attorney Kimberly Chytraus told the Tribune.

“We can put a man on the moon. We can figure this one out too,” stated City Council member Dan Dugan. “We don’t need extra poles.” However, since the four carriers in Salt Lake are not required to co-locate, and it can be less trouble to plant a new 5G pole rather than modifying and equipping an existing structure, Dugan may not get his wish. Salt Lake City residents can check the interactive map for updates.

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