Verizon Halts Small Cell Project Amidst Complaints

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Verizon Wireless paused installation of up to 72 wireless antennas in Santa Rosa, CA to hold public meetings aimed at educating residents, reported The Press Democrat.

“We really are interested in helping educate residents and hopefully make them feel better about what we are doing,” said Verizon spokeswoman Heidi Flato.

Residents, City Council members, and city staff are concerned about the health effects related to high-frequency radio radiation and aesthetic impact, as small cells are being installed on utility poles in front of homes to boost speed and reliability on Verizon’s network.

One resident, Victor Trione, commented on lack of communication and the proximity of small cells to his home. “We were not notified about this project. Having a facility like this 20 feet away from a bedroom is, I think, really problematic.”

The need for more infrastructure is due to damage resulting from a firestorm in October 2017, knocking out 70 towers and disrupting services, according to emergency officials. However, with mounting concerns, Santa Rosa’s chief information officer, Eric McHenry, noted the city is working closely with Verizon to address questions being raised by residents and to make adjustments to the project where possible.

February 28, 2018

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