Arboreal communications cross dressers

Discussion in 'Managing Projects and Business Issues' started by Kelly Calders, Jul 3, 2008.

  1. Kelly Calders

    Kelly Calders Frequent Poster

    A Hawaiian newspaper headline shouts out, "Fake tree may hide cell tower?, accompanied by a picture of an 80-foot pine tree towering over the state tree, the Kukui.

    At first I was fearful that this was a Rorschach test and if I couldn?t find it I would be labeled forever as an advocate of no towers, anywhere, any century on this or other known and undiscovered planets with faulty 4G systems.

    It proved to be easier than having to identify Dennis Rodman in a photograph of a three-member Scandinavian evangelical church choir at a Minnesota ice cream social.

    Thankfully, manufacturers are finally getting suppliers that provide realistic looking branches and leaves. Planning and zoning commissions are getting more knowledgeable and are requesting adequate presentations of what the monopines and other tree offerings will look like.

    However, the industry has to police itself and shun arboreal cross dressers that appear to be monumental baby bottle brushes.

    Early stealth tree/tower sites are embarrassing and provide a poor image of what is available today from an industry that wants to partner with communities.

    I?m not advocating that the state?s legislative branch should decide what foliage is acceptable, but common sense and a sense of aesthetics should prevail by carriers that goosestep to budget ├╝ber alles.

    They don?t drop their leaves and you won?t drop your calls, say carriers that want to fill in a dead spot in their cell phone communications network.

    Unfortunately, some of the stealth facades are absolutely terrible as concealed structures. A Nimitz class carrier would have a better chance of not being noticed if it was disguised as a faux fish stick.
  2. Bob Hardee

    Bob Hardee Friend of the Community

    I love your description.
    I know of one such monopine here in the area of Florida where I live.
    The only thing that makes it stand out is that it's three times taller than any native tree, it has a few scraggly pine needles hanging near the antennas and the fake bark looks nothing like any pine tree in the state. Other than that, you can't tell.
    It makes monopoles look like they are dressed in formal attire.
    Thanks for the smile.
    Bob Hardee
  3. Kelly Calders

    Kelly Calders Frequent Poster

    In an industry that takes itself too seriously, Bob, it?s great to poke fun. This forum doesn't let you upload pictures but I would imagine that there are a lot of good looking sites out there, but I must admit that some of the cactus look-a-likes are coyote ugly.

    Let?s hope that zoning officials don?t go overboard in their concealment requests that will require prohibitive design and construction costs. I recently drove by a beautifully done faux silo that was so pristine that it made the pole barn and the house look so shabby that I?m surprised that they?re not being cited for not painting and maintaining their property.

    During the electrification of America, power poles were a heralded sight, especially in rural communities, and increased the values of homes. You would be run out of town if you objected to the appearance of the wooden, oftentimes crooked, cross arm carriers that were required to be placed in front of almost every home, unlike cell phone sites that can be located miles away.

    If these NIMBY activists are so concerned about preserving unspoiled views, why are they not petitioning their utility company to place their power underground, or at least disguise the existing creosote poles as powerpolepines, anorexic redwoods, or large amber waves of grain? Or could it possibly be that they have become accustomed to the poles as a necessity for all of the enjoyments that electricity provides and they're not an eyesore?

    We have enough capacity problems to deal with. I?m just hoping that in years to come that we don?t find out that our infrastructure has been effected by resulting gender identity disorders. Most monopoles would like to remain monopoles and are not preoccupied with spandex-tight bark, the roles or anatomy of monopines.

    Did you hear the one about: A 30-foot monopalm with three carriers, three ISPs, two public safety providers, three additional ports, a base plate beef up and a safety climb, walks into a bar and says to the bartender, ?Has my brother been in here??
    The bartender says, ?What does he look like??
  4. Marcello Posada

    Marcello Posada Friend of the Community


    You make an excellent point regarding the power lines and telecommunication towers. How come utility poles are not such an eye sore as the concealed poles? I guess like you say we have to wait until people get the point that the wireless industry is getting as important as the utility industry in the fact that nowadays more and more people are needing cell phone coverage just about everywhere.

    We can just hope that it does not take long and it does not become harder and harder to get the monopines approved through zoning meetings. As is, components for concealed structures are expensive, and not the choice for carriers to put up since the price is high. If we, as manufacturers of concealment components, need to spend more money in making poles look better, it is going to become very expensive and risky to put up concealed sites.

    Marcello Posada
  5. Glen Tenier

    Glen Tenier Industry Observer

    I've never really looked at power and telephone lines as being so horrible looking. For the past 50 years of my life I've just seen them as a necessity to enjoy all of the conveniences they provide, although it is seldom that I take notice of them.

    Most new communities today are burying them underground and I must admit that it looks a lot nicer. But in some locales such as Louisiana where you can't bury in the bayou you'll always have poles.

    I'm sure that cell phone carriers and tower owners and the industry could do some really nice structures with RF compliant materials. Unfortunately, most of these things don't fit in the cell phone carrier's budget.

    This industry is no different than any other. Government legislation has to be curtailed so that their ideal desires don't cripple the industry.

    It's very easy for car manufacturers to provide vehicles that get 50 mph on the average, but there is a cost involved and their lobbyists have to protect the automotive industry from going bankrupt overnight if this became a short term requirement.

    Thankfully there are organizations like PCIA and the state groups that lobby on behalf of our industry.

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