NYC DoITT seeks public input on 5G Mobile Poletop Design proposal

The New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) is soliciting the public’s feedback regarding the attached design proposal of mobile telecommunications equipment proposed to be placed on street poles across the City. This equipment will facilitate the citywide deployment of 5G.

What is 5G technology?
The widespread use of mobile devices for phone calls, texting, mobile web browsing, and applications requires a dense network of physical infrastructure to support these uses for millions of New Yorkers.

The main cellular technology of today is 4G LTE, but 5G – fifth-generation mobile technology – is the future of wireless. 5G is advertised as delivering enhanced mobile broadband capabilities that are up to 10 times faster than speeds currently widely available, with immediate responsiveness.

Design Input
The ability of wireless carriers to provide faster service to New Yorkers requires the deployment of new telecommunications infrastructure on street poles across all five boroughs. DoITT has directed the wireless industry to collaborate and design a uniform and minimally obtrusive small cell “concealment” solution to be mounted on street poles. This solution is capable of accommodating the major carriers’ 4G and 5G deployment needs. In the coming months, DoITT will be seeking Public Design Commission approval of the proposed design, which can be viewed here: Proposed NYC 5G Infrastructure Solution. The package includes drawings and photo renderings of the proposed design.

DoITT is seeking the public’s comments on this design proposal. Such comments may include: neighborhood aesthetic, size, placement on the pole, and other feedback on visual impact.
Mobile Telecommunications Franchises
DoITT’s Mobile Telecommunications franchise allows wireless companies to install and maintain mobile telecommunications equipment (“small cells”) on certain street poles. Since 2004, Mobile Telecommunications franchisees have installed small cells on over 6,000 city-owned and privately-owned poles, improving wireless services throughout the City. Previous deployments have focused primarily on 4G densification.

DoITT’s Commitment to Equity and Transparency
The benefits of 5G will not be limited by zip code. The proposed equipment may be installed on street poles in every neighborhood of the City. Franchisees identify poles that meet their individual wireless coverage and capacity needs and select them during periodic pole reservation periods initiated by DoITT.

DoITT is committed to ensuring that 5G will be equitably deployed throughout the City by allocating a set number of poles to be reserved in each of three geographic zones, which cover the entire City. This method of pole allocation is designed to ensure that more poles are made available in areas of the city outside of the Manhattan core.

DoITT will continue to periodically update a dataset of poles approved for the potential installation of small cells on the City’s Open Data portal, available here: https://data.cityofnewyork.us/City-Government/Mobile-Telecommunication-Franchise-Poletop-Install/tbgj-tdd6. You can search by borough, street name and intersection.

Federal Regulation of Safety
The FCC preempts cities from denying small cell permits to franchisee applicants based on health concerns or the environmental effects of radio frequencies (RF) under Section 332(c)(7) of the Communications Act. For further information from the FCC on wireless devices and health concerns, please go to: https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/wireless-devices-and-health-concerns.

Pursuant to their franchise agreements, Mobile Telecommunications franchisees are required to comply with all FCC guidelines related to RF emissions, and DoITT is committed to holding each franchisee to this standard.

DoITT welcomes public feedback regarding the proposed design

Please send all comments via email to 5GDesignFeedback@doitt.nyc.gov by August 8, 2020.

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