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5G Plan Nears Completion

By Vince Conti

AVALON – Avalon and Stone Harbor are developing complementary plans for implementing 5G cellular data systems across Seven Mile Island.  

Using the same consultant, V-Comm, the neighboring towns are seeking to have ordinances in place before the state passes legislation giving carriers significant discretion in how to implement small cell networks in municipal right of ways.  

An ordinance already in place is likely to be grandfathered in the legislation, providing both boroughs with more control over issues of aesthetics, location, and safety, as carriers place small cell antennae throughout the island. 

At its Oct. 14 meeting, Avalon Borough Council heard a report on progress from V-Comm’s Dominic Villecco, concerning Verizon’s designation of 38 Avalon locations, where the carrier expects to place small cell network equipment on existing poles. An earlier meeting, in Stone Harbor, reported Verizon’s identification of 25 locations for cell network implementation. 

Villecco emphasized that the number of locations will grow because of the short signal range of 5G technology, but he said he felt Avalon had sufficient available non-power carrying poles to accommodate the distribution with additional poles being needed.  

He added that neighborhoods, where utility poles were removed due to undergrounding of the wires, may have to decide between a less than fully robust 5G experience or the need for a pole for mounting the antenna system that provides full 5G capabilities. 

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