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Small cell facilities are low-powered antennas that provide cellular and data coverage to smaller geographic areas, supplementing the larger cellular network and improving service for wireless customers. They are installed and operated by private companies. Small cell equipment meets current 4G (LTE) voice and data demands and city staff understands it will be modified with future 5G higher speed equipment as technology changes.
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No, just like other utilities per federal and state laws, small cell facilities are allowed in the public right of way.
To minimize the number of poles within the right-of-way, it is the city’s first priority to have small cells co-locate with existing facilities (such as Xcel street lights). However, the existing poles do not have the structural capacity to handle the weight of small cell equipment and will need to be replaced with larger dual purpose poles. In instances where existing pole locations will not work, new poles may be added.
The industry’s intent for deploying small cell facilities is to improve its reliability and coverage. Each site is usually connected to a specific provider.
To learn more about public health in relation to radio frequency (RF) radiation visit the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) website. For more information, email the City of Arvada Planning Department or call 720.898.7435.
Small cell poles are up to 40 feet tall and typically cover 1,500 feet.