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How the New Switch to 5G Wireless Affects Our Neighborhoods

Posted by Amanda Hicks on Friday, March 23rd, 2018 at 4:57pm.

The next big wireless movement is coming- it's called 5G for "fifth generation," and it's like the switch from 3G to 4G. It will greatly increase wireless speeds and smartphone and tablet capabilities, but there's a catch. 

The new technology doesn't rely on the giant cells and towers we've grown used to. Instead it uses something called "microcells" which use many clusters of smaller antennae that will be strung up in our neighborhoods. 

The microcells will look like small boxes or a bunch of small boxes and they'll hang on existing telephone poles, street lights and buildings. The small boxes will be accompanied by a larger power box on the ground, situated every 500 feet.

Some local governments are voicing their opposition to the idea of installing the boxes, representing both homeowners and business owners who are worried about the appearance of their properties. The wireless industry however is making a push with the Federal Communication Commission.

The FCC will vote at the end of the month whether to exempt microcells from environmental and historic reviews. If that happens, we will see big changes coming to infrastructure on properties. But the benefits of 5G are good for consumers, the economy, make our daily lives easier and so on. USA Today suggests perhaps a compromise would be to give the community input as to what the microcell boxes should look like.

How would you camouflage a box if you had one on your property?

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