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Small wireless communications towers, also known as 5G technology, utilize higher frequencies with the capability to accommodate significantly higher data needs than current 4G/LTE technologies. The physical limits of the higher frequencies require that the transmitters be installed more frequently throughout the city, resulting in additional installations in the public right-of-way.

Local Policy
The City of Cedar Rapids is working on policy and design guidelines to accommodate this new technology, while ensuring the new infrastructure is installed using context sensitive solutions. Considerations include: driver visibility, sidewalk access, safety, noise, aesthetics, and accommodating multiple providers at each location.

Background on the FCC
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted order FCC 18-133 outlining the extent to which local agencies may or may not regulate the installation of these facilities within the public rights-of-way and the use of existing public infrastructure.

FCC limits to Local Authority
The Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) order – effective January 2019 – outlines the deployment of small wireless facilities. The FCC has imposed limitations on a city's ability to regulate the placement and construction of telecommunications towers and facilities. Any future City of Cedar Rapids policy regarding the installation of small wireless facilities would follow the approved FCC guidelines.

Additional Resources

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