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City to Approve First 5G Small Cell Antenna at this Location

Verizon has applied to add its first 5G small cell antenna at a Pepco pole near the Rhode Island Ave and Edgewood Road intersection.

You may have seen small cell wireless antennas being installed on top of wooden or metal PEPCO poles along roads in the area. Carriers such as Verizon and AT&T have or will soon be applying to install this same type of antenna in City rights-of-way.

The City is the first municipality in Prince George’s County to be contacted by Verizon with the intent to move forward in the immediate future.

There are approximately 38 proposed installations in the City, to be phased in overtime. The majority of these will be in residential areas. 21 cells will be installed on the existing Pepco poles, 1 on the City-owned structure, and the remaining will be installed on Verizon poles.

The polygon map from Verizon shows the areas in which they are proposing to install small wireless facilities. This shows the architecture of the full system. Not all of the facilities will be applied for and installed at one time.

The proposed pole is a 22’-6” tall (10”x6.0”x0.3125”), round, tapered, seamless, aluminum alloy light pole on ~6” breakaway couplers and a total pole height of 23’-0”. A Radio Frequency Electromagnetic Energy (RF-EME) Compliance Report dated October 5, 2020, notes the structure will be in compliance with FCC regulations upon proper installation of
recommended signage. Our review of this report found no inconsistencies.

The report finds that neither the occupational nor the general population limits for radio frequency exposure will be exceeded at ground level using worst-case predictive modeling. The report noted that the worst-case emitted power density may exceed the FCC’s general public limit within approximately 3 feet of the antennas’ faces at the level at which the antennas are placed on the pole (i.e., approximately 20.5 feet above the ground). General public exposure for a 6-foot-tall person standing at the base of the pole will be within the FCC’s limit. The applicant has
confirmed that proper signage will be added to the pole.

The proposed pole location is 90 feet from the nearest commercial building. Prince George’s County Code requires a small wireless facility to be setback 20 feet from a commercial building. The nearest single-family residence is 315 feet, which is within the 30-foot setback required. The distance to the curb is 5 feet, which is within the 3.5-foot setback required.

City will be holding an informational meeting about the Small Cell Antenna (5G), on Tuesday, June 28, 2022 | 7:00-8:00pm | City Hall or Virtual

Installation of the antenna on public land is governed by federal and City law. The Mayor and Council adopted a law and application process to regulate these installations and require a License Agreement to place the antennas, and have hired a consultant to evaluate small cell antenna applications.

City staff and representatives from the consultant, Columbia Telecommunications Corporation, will be present at the meeting to provide information about the City’s process and to answer questions.

Residents can attend in person at the City Hall Council Chambers or via zoom: https://zoom.us/j/92398574069.

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