Verizon tower faces resistance over coverage vs. capacity debate

Verizon Wireless is again running up against local resistance to a proposed new cell tower, with the community alleging the new tower is not a necessity because it addresses capacity and not coverage.

According to the Daily Freeman, neighbors to the proposed site in the town of Saugerties, New York, said Verizon is being “misleading.” An attorney representing the residents argued that the need for more capacity means the necessary coverage is already in place.

“Capacity is just having more game-streaming opportunities so people can watch a TV show on their phones or something like that,” Attorney Jon Lyons said, according to the report. “The original purpose for cell companies getting this sort of relaxed treatment [as a] public utility was so that everyone would be able to have access to make calls on the system, not necessarily so everyone could be a gamer.”

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Residents are concerned a new cell tower will disrupt the historic landscape in Saugerties.

For its part, Verizon admits that data capacity is one of the main reasons it proposed putting up new cell sites and that it puts a lot of effort into determining new potential sites for cell towers. In this case, Verizon said the proposed tower is in between two existing towers and would provide better service on nearby roadways.

The resistance Verizon is seeing in New York and the argument that capacity does not equate coverage is similar to the carrier’s current battle in Lane County, Oregon. Lane County residents also asserted that Verizon’s proposed cell sites in that region serve to boost capacity for data-rich applications, something they said is not needed since coverage in the area is already adequate.

In Oregon, Verizon is considering a challenge to the siting rules, which the carrier called “burdensome and unusual,” and argued that the proposed site will help with both coverage and capacity.

"The facility proposed for Bodenhamer Road in Lane County, Oregon, will offload traffic from nearby cell sites and provide much needed coverage and data capacity in the surrounding area. This cell site will provide the increased bandwidth needed to allow customers to access data rich applications like video and music streaming, upload and download photos and video, and utilize remote healthcare and education apps," Verizon said in a statement provided to FierceInstaller.

For more:
- read this Daily Freeman article

Related articles:
Verizon challenging 'burdensome and unusual' Oregon county cell siting rules
It's small ISP vs. Santa Fe in standoff over unauthorized tower build

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