FAIRHOPE, Ala. (WKRG) – 5G sounds like a good thing, but it depends on how the installation process goes in Baldwin County before everyone is on board.
“I’m concerned there may not be restrictions on these or anything governing the appearance of these,” said city council president Jack Burrell.
The new 5G towers are known as small cell wireless facilities and right now they’re starting to pop up in Fairhope one tower at a time.
“Ultimately it’s going to give the citizens of Baldwin County better internet connectivity, faster speeds,” said county engineer Joey Nunnally.
Cell phone and internet providers are working with county leaders to bring those 5G speeds to areas currently lacking service. A new tower was installed this week at County Road 48 and Highway 181 in Fairhope. It’s a standalone facility and some are worried hundreds more could be on the way.
“When you go out and you start putting up additional posts I think that’s something that could harm the aesthetics of our community,” said Burrell.
Places like Fairhope have ordinances in place limiting the number of towers and how they’re constructed within city limits. The county has similar guidelines they’ll be enforcing, too.
“Our first option is for them to collocate on existing poles,” added Nunnally.
The new devices could start popping up in communities across Baldwin County. The county says they’re working hard to make sure these companies are working with pole owners first to make sure all options are looked at before new poles are added.
It’s something Fairhope city leaders will be watching closely.
“It doesn’t take much of an imagination to realize it’s going to take hundreds of these, and who knows maybe thousands of these, to fully cover a community,” added Burrell.
County leaders and Burrell say the new devices have to be installed 500 feet to 1,000 feet apart in order for the technology to work over a wide area.