Outburst of discontent as state seizes control of 5G towers – Miami Today

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Written by on June 4, 2024
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Outburst of discontent as state seizes control of 5G towers

The good news is Miami-Dade residents addressing county commissioners Tuesday, to a speaker, had only positive things to say about 5G, the latest standard for mobile networks. The bad news is that 5G poles are erupting all over the county and commissioners can’t stop it.

“They put one up 15 feet from my children’s bedroom,” one resident complained.

Commissioners nodded sympathetically but said their hands were tied.

“If we were the government that had control over it, it would be one thing,” said Commission Chair Oliver G. Gilbert III. “But we’re not.”

The board unanimously passed a resolution introduced by Commissioner Raquel Regalado to urge “the Florida Legislature to repeal the new state law” preempting “local government regulation” over installation of the poles. But no one was optimistic about the outcome.

“This … is egregious,” said Commissioner Juan Carlos Bermudez.

“The fact that we are not able to control the way we want our communities to look defeats the purpose of even having local government,” Mr. Bermudez asserted. “It’s really kind of a slap in the face,” said the former Doral mayor.

“It was a land grab,” said Commissioner Eileen Higgins. The tech companies “went to Tallahassee. They got permission to put these poles wherever they want, whenever they want, right next to each other. They don’t have to share poles. It is disgusting.”

Ms. Higgins’ soapbox speech continued. The poles are “everywhere. They’re right next to each other, she said. “One company is a different color from another company … and they can literally be five feet from each other… So, we feel your pain.”

Chairman Gilbert, discouraged but unbent, told residents that the “same folks that lobbied … to get this law passed will lobby … to keep this law in place.”

But, the chairman continued, “while our power stops, yours doesn’t. You can apply pressure to your state legislator, and I encourage you to do that.”

Commissioner Bermudez agreed. “Make sure that when your state rep or your state senator shows up at a local meeting that you show up and let them know exactly how you feel.”

Complaints about the 5G towers are nationwide, from New York City to Riverside, CA. Google “5G tower images” and photos appear from Lansing, MI; Columbus, O; Harrisburg, PA; Denver and Indianapolis.

Local hands are tied across the board. A report in the Columbus Dispatch said that “the state can review applications for poles that will hold equipment for the new 5G cellular wireless technology to see whether they will negatively affect the historic character of neighborhoods. But Ohio officials can’t prevent companies from putting them up.”

The problem is exacerbated because 5G equipment can’t always be added to existing poles. It requires the installation of new infrastructure, according to www.heavy.ai.

“While some existing infrastructure can be used,” says a report on www.cisco.com, “new infrastructure is typically necessary to meet the demands of 5G.”

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