FARGO, N.D. (KFGO) – Fargo city commissioners have approved first reading of a revised ordinance covering a new form of wireless infrastructure.
Cities must conform to a Federal Communications Commission order that streamlines the process of installing new antennas for 5-G wireless service.
5-G is the fifth generation of mobile technology rolling out out this year which will offer greater amounts of data at faster speeds.
The 5-G network requires a significant increase in antenna’s than those needed for existing cellular and wireless technology.
Under the FCC rule, cities cannot ban the technology and it gives wireless providers access to install those antenna’s to existing street lights, traffic signals, utility poles and other locations for a fee.
City Division Engineer Kevin Gorder says there could be as many 60 small cell antenna’s per carrier, per square mile.
That could eventually mean as many as 12,000 in fargo.
Commissioner Dave Piepkorn understands the emerging technology is necessary but cautioned the city about what he calls “visual clutter” created by those antenna’s.
The city has set an annual fee for providers at $175 per site with additional fee’s for other requirements involved in the use of the small cell system.