5G service expansion faces setback in Naples
A battle is brewing on the reception of the cells in Naples. There’s a push to expand 5G service, but business owners don’t want bulky new devices ruining the charm of city streets.
For many, visiting Naples is all about looks and feel. “It’s one of the most beautiful cities in the United States. Leave him alone,” said Ray Flood of New Jersey.
So it’s no surprise that tourists don’t like the idea of 5G cell structures like this being built in the South 3rd Street neighborhood.
“It’s perfect like this, I hate to see these things,” said Phyllis FLood, from New Jersey.
5G is also something that some people in Naples aren’t interested in, to begin with. “I struggle enough with the technology I have,” Napoli’s Thomas Wilmot said.
Those who depend on their phone for everything think something needs to be done.
“The network was overloaded and you couldn’t receive calls or messages. So, I don’t know if that’s the answer to the problem, but there has to be some sort of solution,” said Chris Murphy of North Carolina.
Communications company Crown Castle argues this is the solution: four poles that would reach up to 33ft with an antenna and a box-like structure.
A Crown Castle spokesperson said in a statement:
Crown Castle provides shared communications infrastructure, including towers, fiber and small cells, which serve as the backbone of mobile connectivity in communities across the United States. As demand for data and technology grows and we continue to move towards improved connectivity, we will need more shared communications infrastructure, especially small cell deployment underpinned by a robust fiber base. We work with communities, wireless carriers, municipalities and others to design and deliver unique infrastructure solutions. The small cells we offer in the Third Street South neighborhood of Naples will improve our customers’ network performance by providing more coverage and capacity; that means more reliable cell phone coverage, faster downloads and better connectivity. Over the past few years we have worked with the City of Naples and community members to design these small cells to both meet the needs of our mobile operator customer and to blend in with the area to preserve the aesthetics of Naples.
Neapolitan businesses, which own more than half of the South 3rd Street neighborhood, oppose the towers. City of Naples engineer Alison Biccket is working both sides on a compromise and knows that 5G equipment can’t always be nice to look at. “Bicket said.
On Tuesday, the two sides will plead their case before the Naples City Council who will advise city staff on how to move forward, but the council has little to say legally.
A 2017 Florida law removed a local government’s ability to regulate the location of 5G towers.
The city has a say in the appearance of the poles that would be used.
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