Murrysville hires attorney to help develop ordinance addressing 5G antennas | TribLIVE.com
Murrysville

Murrysville hires attorney to help develop ordinance addressing 5G antennas

Patrick Varine
1825631_web1_5G-Tech
AP/Christian Charisius
An antenna for the next 5G mobile internet standard is tested on a house in Hamburg, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019. Germany want to sell frequencies for the next mobile generation by auction this year.

Murrysville will hire a Pittsburgh attorney to help develop an ordinance regulating small wireless towers in the municipality.

“Some municipalities have looked at it as a money grab, charging exorbitant permit fees,” Chief Administrator Jim Morrison told council members. “Others have chosen not to regulate it, which I do not think is a good idea.”

About a year ago, the FCC announced the removal of several regulatory barriers to infrastructure development for a nationwide 5G network, including a cap on the fees local governments can charge, and time limits for local government review of what the FCC calls “small wireless facilities.”

“These are towers that are about 40 feet high,” Morrison said. “They can co-locate, although in many instances choose not to.”

Council voted to hire attorney Joseph Cortese to help municipal staff in developing an ordinance addressing the towers.

“It’s frankly a zoo right now on regulations governing these,” Morrison said. “The planning commission recommended hiring an attorney to help in developing the ordinance.”

Houston-based Crown Castle is seeking to place 5G antennas in the municipality.

The FCC’s actions are similarly aimed at extending broadband wireless capability to the country’s rural areas.

Such a push, however, requires the availability of fiber-optic cable, which Morrison said he believed currently runs only along Old William Penn Highway and Sardis Road.

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Local | Murrysville
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