AT&T looking to construct 85 foot cell tower at Hesperia High School

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AT&T looking to construct 85 foot cell tower at Hesperia High School
Photo credit: Ehresmann Engineering

HESPERIA – AT&T is requesting to construct an 85 foot high monopine cell tower at 9898 Maple Avenue, Hesperia High School. The tree-like cell tower will provide a 5G reception signal in that area. 

The conditional use permit will be considered at Hesperia’s Development Review Committee on Wednesday, Jan. 11.

In 2022, all mobile service providers shut down their 3G networks to make way for 5G – the fifth generation of mobile communication. The new tech will allow faster data rates with lower latency, or delays, in transmitting data.

Not only does 5G technology promise faster speeds, but also a more unified system for Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things expansion.

This next generation technology will usher in new uses like telemedicine and virtual reality.

RELATED: Verizon and other mobile providers shut down 3G network to make way for 5G

Across the country, schools have been partnering up with telecom companies in efforts to generate income from cell tower leases.

Some opponents of 5G cell towers cite health concerns – radio frequency (RF) waves that cell towers emit may cause cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society, there’s no strong evidence that exposure to RF waves from cell phone towers causes any noticeable health effects. 

“However, this does not mean that the RF waves from cell phone towers have been proven to be absolutely safe. Most expert organizations agree that more research is needed to help clarify this, especially for any possible long-term effects,” says a statement on the American Cancer Society website.

UC Berkeley School of Public Health Researcher Joel Moskowitz says the government stopped funding research on the health effects of radio frequency radiation in the 1990s.

“With the exception of a $30 million rodent study published in 2018 by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences’ National Toxicology Program, which found “clear evidence” of carcinogenicity from cellphone radiation,” Moskowitz said in a Berkeley News article in 2021.

Moskowitz goes on to explain that for the first time, in addition to microwaves, 5G technology will employ millimeter waves, which are much higher frequency than the microwaves used by 3G and 4G.

“Millimeter wave radiation is largely absorbed in the skin, the sweat glands, the peripheral nerves, the eyes and the testes, based upon the body of research that’s been done on millimeter waves. In addition, this radiation may cause hypersensitivity and biochemical alterations in the immune and circulatory systems — the heart, the liver, kidneys and brain,” said Moskowitz to Berkeley News.

He says that in the next few years the U.S. will see roughly 2.5 times more antenna sites deployed than in current use due to the limitations of 5G waves. 

“Millimeter waves can’t travel very far, and they’re blocked by fog or rain, trees and building materials, so the industry estimates that it’ll need 800,000 new cell antenna sites,” said Moskowitz to Berkeley News.

There are currently 22 constructed antennas registered with the Federal Communications Commission in Hesperia.

Hesperia Development Review Committee is scheduled for Wednesday January 11, 2023 at 10 a.m. City Hall is located at 9700 Seventh Ave, Hesperia. For more information visit https://hesperia.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx

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