Ninety-six percent of Americans own a cell phone, according to recent research. Each of these millions of devices requires technology behind it to make it work wirelessly. Often an afterthought, the local wireless facility network is a critical aspect of our local infrastructure.
Cell sites include macro and small cell technologies. Macro facilities are larger-scale sites, typically stand-alone towers or rooftop locations, which provide larger-scale cellular coverage. A small cell site fits into an enclosure that does not exceed three cubic feet in volume. These small cell sites are commonly placed on light poles or traffic signals and are used to expand the capacity of the overall network. More information about small cell technology can be found in this FAQ document (PDF).
The Town’s wireless code, and related processes, were revised in 2018 to align with updated State and Federal regulations. The Federal Communications Commission has sole authority for regulating wireless facilities, leaving little authority for local governments like the Town. The Town provides necessary permitting for the installation of proposed cell sites.
This map shows locations of existing and proposed cell sites within Castle Rock boundaries.
According to the 1996 Telecommunications Act, State and local governments cannot regulate wireless facilities on the basis of the health or environmental effects of radiofrequency emissions.
Local government organizations of which we are a part have advocated for the FCC to ensure these standards are up to date, and that they specifically address 5G technology. To date, the FCC has not come out with any regulations specific to 5G. We can continue to advocate, but not regulate, with respect to these issues. To the extent that you would like to see greater local and/or state control over radio frequency emissions, we recommend you contact your Congressional representatives and advocate for a change in the law.