What is 5G?
5G is the latest wireless technology being promoted by wireless carriers. The new 5G technology provides faster speeds and a more reliable connection than previous generations of wireless technology. These features open the possibilities for a more connected society and new technologies such as autonomous vehicles.
The 5G technology can operate in three different electromagnetic spectrums. The low-band range operates below 1 Ghz and can cover the broadest area, but at a slower maximum speed of 0.25 Gbps. The mid-band range is between 1 GHz and 6 GHz and can reach speeds up to 1 Gbps with a slightly smaller reach for its signal. By using millimeter-wave, 5G can reach speeds up to 10 Gbps, but the signal has trouble passing through obstacles such as trees, buildings, and rain. In the United States, the FCC has opened up the millimeter-wave frequencies for 5G deployments. This means, carriers must install a lot of towers close together to provide adequate coverage. It is estimated that a single 5G antenna using millimeter-wave technology will have the range of approximately 550 feet or approximately 10 houses.
Is it Safe?
There are many questions about health risks associated with millimeter-wave spectrum. There are few studies on the effects of exposure to these higher frequency bands in the density required to provide adequate coverage. In the US, the FCC is responsible for identifying any health risks associated with wireless technology. As of this date, the FCC has not specifically studied the long term effects of exposure of 5G, but has declared it safe based on studies of previous generations of wireless technology.
5G Deployment in Haines City
The FCC and the State of Florida have passed laws restricting the ability of local governments from regulating or controlling the installation of 5G wireless infrastructure (small cell facilities). This means there is little the City can do to prevent a carrier from installing a pole containing 5G equipment and antennae anywhere they wish along the right-of-way of a public road, nor can the government establish standards for its appearance. This includes preventing the government from denying a request for the installation of a pole in the easement of the front yard of a residential house. HOAs, however, do have some power to regulate the installation of small cell facilities within their boundaries.