Small Cells Having Moving Impact on Tucson

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Tucson resident Josh Franklin is moving after a small cell pole popped up in front of his house. KVOA-TV reported that Franklin had no advance notice of the pole and first found out about it when workers began digging in his yard. 

Franklin contacted the city, but since it’s only responsibility is processing the permits for the small cells, not the placement, he hit a dead end. According to the City of Tucson Department of Transportation & Mobility Deputy Director Sam Credio, “We have no say on where the poles actually go. That design is done by Verizon and AT&T.”

According to Verizon, there is no evidence that cell sites of any kind harm property values. The carrier told KVOA-TV that recent evidence showed that access to solid, consistent wireless coverage and capacity is a major factor with today’s homebuyers. 

AT&T noted that it is following state regulations. “We are working within the guideline of HB2365. This is the law that was passed in 2018, and we are in compliance with local and federal standards, which allows us to be in the Right-of-Way owned by the city or jurisdiction.”

“I do not think it adds to my property value. I asked them if there were other options besides near my front door, and they said no based on the grid they set up,” said Franklin.

Electromagnetic Safety Alliance Executive Director Elizabeth Kelley added that “There is no requirement for the city to advise the public or the neighbors that are being directly affected or hold a public hearing.” Kelley added that the poles are designed for good. “Faster speed, greater connectivity, and shorter latency, which means instantaneous communication.”

The carriers’ statements are not changing Franklin’s mind. He said he’s planning to move due to the small cell in his front yard. 

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