Join Town Hall on 5G East of the River

Small Cells will Be Installed Here. What's the Impact?

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Photo simulation of cannister-style small cell antenna on a street light pole presented by Crown Castle at a Sept. 25 Small Cell Town Hall meeting. Thousands of small cell units could be installed on streetlights, utility poles and in lamp pedestals throughout the District. Used with Permission. Presentation available at https://ddot.dc.gov/smallcellpng.png

UPDATE, 6:30 pm Wednesday: with apologies for the inconvenience ACC announced that tonight’s town hall has been postponed. Please continue to check your ACC email and this post for updates.

5G is coming east of the river and the Anacostia Coordinating Council (ACC) wants you to be a part of the discussion. Join the zoom meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 31.

To facilitate 5G, the next generation of mobile network, mobile companies install small cells. Most 5G signals travel relatively short distances and will work only if there’s a clear, direct line-of-sight between the antenna and the device receiving the signal. In order to address these issues, some estimates say that small cells will need to be installed every 250 or 300 feet.

Small cells are low-power miniature antennas that supplement larger cell towers and will be necessary to implement the newer, faster 5G service when it begins to be offered in the United States. They have already been installed in communities such as Dupont Circle and Capitol Hill.

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) has created Small Cell Design Guidelines to govern the placement and design of the lower-lying mobile network units on District utility poles and other public spaces.

Carly Didden is Government Relations Manager for Crown Castle, the world’s largest provider of wireless infrastructure. She said that small cells would help address issues at large-scale events, such as during the Nationals World Series Parade, when even with a signal many people were unable to place calls because cellular towers were overloaded.

“What these facilities will do is boost the available capacity, so that we don’t have those kinds of problems,” Didden said. “In particular, the benefit of improved cell phone service means when you pick up your phone to make a call, you’re not going to have as many dropped calls.”

Join ACC for a highly anticipated conversation with Crown Castle to discuss how small cell installation will impact residents. WJLA’s Sam Ford will host the event.

Join in on the 31st at 6:30pm via zoom.