Improved cell phone coverage might be coming to a street near you.
A new state law gives telecommunications providers the right to locate “small cell” facilities and networks within public rights-of-way. Devices may be attached to utility poles, street light poles and traffic signals.
That’s fine with Fort Collins officials, but they want to get ahead of the drive to install more cell equipment around town by developing safety and aesthetic standards for the devices.
City staff members have recommended the City Council consider a moratorium on accepting applications for small cell facilities until regulations can be set, said Tyler Marr, a project and policy analyst with the city.
The moratorium, if approved by council, would run through the end of the year unless land-use regulations are written and adopted earlier. The council is scheduled to give initial consideration to a moratorium on Aug. 22.
“There’s basically a shot clock under federal standards that say we have to respond in so many days,” Marr said. “We’re trying to make sure that we don’t get an application for something that would be aesthetically unacceptable to the city.”
Small cell facilities typically are about the size of a paper shredder, said Meagan Dorsch, a Verizon spokesperson. They consist of a radio, an antenna, a power source and a fiber connections.
They are attached to existing infrastructure and…
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