by Jeremy Morrison, Inweekly
Telecommunication companies are currently sizing up the city of Pensacola and mapping out 5G infrastructure plans. The new infrastructure is necessary in order to support new 5G cellular technology.
Because of regulations at the state level, local officials have little say in where communication companies locate this new infrastructure. While the companies must submit applications for the 5G infrastructure, local governments are required to approve these applications. This means that as the infrastructure unfurls, some people could find a cellular tower planted in their front yard.
“We can’t just reject 5G,” Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson has previously explained. “We empathize and sympathize with people who are upset.”
In an effort to better manage this coming 5G infrastructure, city officials have requested that companies ensure the equipment is aesthetically in line with its surroundings, and also that equipment be co-located on already existing infrastructure when possible.
“We believe that co-location could solve a lot of our problems, but we can’t require it,” Robinson said.
As communication companies file applications for this new 5G infrastructure, the city of Pensacola is keeping a tally of the sites being targeted. The list of applications can be viewed on the city’s website.
Thus far, there are 32 5G applications filed with the city. A majority of the applications seek to place equipment in either the area in proximity to Cordova Mall or in the downtown area, though there are also plans for equipment in other areas, like Belmont-Devilliers and East Pensacola Heights. Nineteen of these applications have been approved, with the remaining applications currently being reviewed.
Many of the 5G applications list precise addresses, allowing residents and property owners to check if their property is on the list. This is especially true for sites in the Cordova Park area.
Other sites on the list provide intersections. This is the case for several of the downtown locales.
As the city is requesting, most of the 5G applications seek to co-locate equipment on existing infrastructure. Interestingly, the only three applications that seek to install a new tower on which to locate the infrastructure were filed by AT&T. The remaining 29 applications — all seeking to co-locate — have been submitted by Verizon.
AT&T’s new-tower applications pertain to the downtown area. One is planned for the northwest corner of Palafox and Zarragossa Street, across from Plaza Ferdinand, another for the northeast corner of Adams Street and Zarragossa, at Seville Square, across from Old Christ Church, and the third for the southeast corner of Palafox and Intendencia Street, near World of Beer.
— To view the full list of 5G applications and associated locations in the city of Pensacola, check https://www.cityofpensacola.com/3057/5G-Small-Cell-Antenna-Permit-Application