Residents of the North Willows Farms community in Marion County, IN contacted their homeowners association president, Eric White, after seeing a newspaper public notice about small cell installations planned for their community. The notice advertised Verizon’s proposal to install a 47-foot tower in the middle of the North Willows Farms neighborhood.
White told WRTV-TV this was the first he heard about Verizon’s plans. “I started getting a lot of phone calls from residents and most of them I would describe as angry or concerned,” said White. “A few encouraged us to take a measured approach because they were in favor of 5G.”
“If 5G is inevitable, we would like a say in where the placement goes, not along our beautiful thoroughfare and not in the front yards of our neighbors,” said Brian Brase, an 18-year resident of North Willow Farms. “We don’t oppose 5G. It’s just the manner that Verizon is forcing it upon us.”
In response to calls from residents, state representative Ed Delaney (D-Indianapolis) scheduled a meeting with Verizon this week to discuss the carrier’s plans. “It’s a tough set of facts and I hope the utility will show flexibility with pacing and spacing,” said Delaney. “I hope we can get something worked out. The chances everyone will be happy are slim to none.”
Delaney told WRTV that more authority should be given to the city for the location and placement of small cells. “There are things we could do that would send a message to the industry that need to think of people’s needs and expectations,” Delaney said.
Verizon responded to WRTV’s inquiry about their plans for the rollout of 5G and provided a link to their Central Indiana project. “For several years we have been using small cells in cities across the country to add needed network capacity as cellular usage grows,” said David Weissman, Communications Manager at Verizon Consumer Group.
Advocating to ensure residents know about 5G infrastructure development, White used permit requests to create a Google map showing the proposed locations of small cells across Central Indiana.
“Verizon is treated as if they’re a regulated utility but they’re allowed to move forward without any regulation and that’s concerning,” said White.
Declining to speak in detail about the matter, the City of Indianapolis Department of Business and Neighborhood Services told WRTV they are reviewing pending wireless applications with their counsel.
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