Albany resident Cindy Coons came home to find an unwelcome surprise.
“Tuesday night I came home from work with my daughter,” explained Coons. “It was late and I saw a big mound of dirt first, and then we looked and saw this pole in our front yard.”
Coon said she is worried that the pole will depreciate the value of her home, not to mention that it’s an eyesore.
The pole was installed by ExteNet to provide better connectivity for wireless providers.
Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said while the technology is beneficial, she is frustrated that the city has no control over where these poles get place. Multiple new poles have already been placed throughout Albany.
“The new rule making that has been proposed by the FCC in Washington, strips away local control and really confines us to a limited review process that basically allows providers to put these poles up as of right, in the city’s right of way,” explained Mayor Sheehan.
Mayor Sheehan has joined other mayors throughout the country to lobby at both the state and federal levels to fight for more of a way when it comes to these FCC regulations.
“Our rules clearly provided that they were to be given written notice,” explained Mayor Sheehan. ” That they were to know where this pole was to be located, and have the opportunity to call the company and provide them with with feedback.”
The mayor is consulting with the city’s legal department to see what can be done.
The company EteNet released the following statement:
Utility poles and street lamps are utilized to enable wireless (mobile) broadband service in towns and communities. A small form-factor antenna is typically installed on these poles to enable wireless service on behalf of the wireless carrier(s). The wireless network we build always adheres to the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) guidelines. All pole locations are determined in conjunction with the wireless carriers, based on the network coverage requirements, and the utility company owning the utility pole. Where needed, ExteNet installs new pole(s) to deliver the required network coverage and capacity. Approvals are secured from the local municipal authorities prior to any network design finalization and construction commencement. The networks are always built based on the guidelines set by the city and/or township where these networks are deployed.
We focus heavily on community relations and all efforts are made to inform and communicate with the people living in these communities. Local residents are often notified via community hearings, signs and letters. In the Buckingham Lake (Albany) network, notification for the trenching efforts was shared with affected residents prior to the 15 October 2018 trenching activity commencement. We always consider the community’s existing landscaping and aesthetic guidelines in our network construction. As part of the Buckingham Lake (Albany) project, we will be restoring the landscaping for the affected households prior to completion.