Small Cell Wireless Information
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a small cell site?
Small cells are short range sites used to compliment macro towers and enhance network capacity in high traffic areas. Small cells are made up of small radios and a single antenna placed on existing structures such as streetlights, traffic signals and utility poles and connected using fiber and power.
Why are small cell sites being installed in Richfield?
As the demand for network coverage grows, wireless companies are looking for ways to expand coverage to customers. With more residents working from home, the need for faster and more reliable service has increased. Small cell towers assist in providing coverage to a wide range of services such as first responders, dispatchers, GPS trackers, and emergency lifeline monitors.
Does the city send out notification?
Verizon and AT&T will send notifications to all residents within 300 ‘ft of any new pole or antenna approximately 1-2 months before the start of construction.
Why did the city approve this?
State and federal legislation requires that cities allow small cell facilities to be installed in public right-of-way (Minn. Stat. 237.163). Due to this legislation, the city cannot deny the installation of a small cell facility unless it is infeasible due to existing infrastructure or a safety concern. Radio frequency emissions are governed by the Federal Communications Commission and the city cannot deny the installation of any facility based on radio frequency emissions.
Wireless companies submitting applications to install small cell facilities must meet requirements set in the City Code (City Code 802-17). In order to have a location approved, the wireless company needs to provide a small cell permit application with plans and location list, structural analysis, radio frequency study, certificate of insurance, and a right of way permit application. City staff reviews the applications to ensure the installations meet all applicable local, state, and federal standards.
Are small cells safe?
Based on research gathered from the Federal Communications Commission in consultation other with multiple federal agencies, federal agencies have concluded that equipment that complies with the set safety standards poses no known health risks. Advisors to the World Health Organization have concluded that the same goes for 5G equipment. More information on safety of small cell towers and radio frequency (RF) emissions can be found here.
For additional questions regarding a specific location, please contact the company owning the site. This interactive map will show site locations, site companies, and construction status.
Who do I contact if I still have questions?