Proposed tower in my town

Discussion in 'Design, Development and Standards Discussions' started by richard griggs, Mar 14, 2008.

  1. richard griggs

    richard griggs Friend of the Community

    My town, West Cornwal, CT will be having a cell tower put up near a historical spot, The Covered Bridge. I would like to know if this cell tower will become obsolete soon due to advancements in wireless phone technology? Could anyone help me out with this information? How many years do you think it will be?
    Richard Griggs
  2. Bob Hardee

    Bob Hardee Friend of the Community

    Hello Richard,

    I can't give you an estimate of when a tower may become obsolete. A few are decommissioned on occasion when they are replaced by smaller towers as other towers pick up the load.
    My sense of the industry is that towers are here to stay for a long time and more are required everyday as demand has grown. Towers are very expensive and must be in place long term in order to even recover the investment.
    Depending on the type of tower required, it may be possible to mitigate the impact by use of stealth techniques. As an example, should the location be a park setting a tower disguised as a flag pole may be adequate. I have seen them placed in Church steeples as well, so this may be an option if there is a church nearby willing to lease space in a steeple of accept a bell tower on the grounds, etc.
    If a very tall tower is required, none of these choices may be an option.
    Most companies attempt to be good neighbors and try to mitigate impacts to the extent possible based on their needs.
    Zoning restrictions are required to be met where they are in effect by the city or county the tower is to be built, so you might investigate the status of the permit to determine if the tower already has approval or still needs to go through the process.
    Bob Hardee
    Former Site Acquisition Manager
    State of Florida.
  3. Mike Brant

    Mike Brant Guest


    In most cases, wireless operators or tower vendors obtain tower site leases with term lengths on the order of 10-20 years. In most cases, if a tower is erected, there are no plans to decommission that tower in the future. Even if the prime lease is allow to expire, in most cases the company that owns the tower will try to negotiate leaving the tower in place, such that they do not have to pay to remove it. In most cases, the land owners are agreeable to this, as the tower is most definitely a valuable asset.

    The one thing that has remained relatively constant in the wireless industry over the years is the need for site infrastructure in the form of towers, building rooftops, etc. As new technologies emerge, the operators simply swap out obsolete technologies in favor of newer ones. The tower itself does not become obsolete unless it was designed structurally to hold only a limited number of antennas/dishes and a new technology would have antenna loading requirements that could not be handled by the tower. The operator can usually work around this concern however.

    Being a site in CT, all new tower sites must go through the Connecticut Siting Council for approval (link is ). You should be able to make any specific inquiries about the site in question there. The CSC approval process is notorious for being a very lengthy and through. This is even to a point of fault where in many cases, they require stealth structures that can only accommodate one wireless carrier rather than allowing tower sites where multiple carriers can co-locate. This may mean each site is "prettier", but it also means many more sites are needed. By the way, I didn't see any notes for actions in West Cornwall in regards to any tower site, but did see several actions related to telecommunications tower sites listed under Cornwall.

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