FISHERS, Ind. — As 5G cell service comes to central Indiana, more and more towers will be erected to support the new technology.
To support 5G, cell towers have to be closer together than ever before and that means there will be more of them. Fishers is the latest city to undergo the 5G upgrade and some of those towers are being placed in residential neighborhoods.
“It looks terrible,” Kenneth Crowley said.
Crowley said he came home from work at the end of last week and saw a 5G pole right across the street from his Fishers home.
“Immediately, I started thinking to myself how could this of happened,” Crowley said.
Crowley and other neighbors we spoke with said they never received notice that the tower was being built right in front of their homes. The City of Fishers is required to notify residents if a tower is being built within 200 feet of their home.
“I never saw a letter and some of my neighbors said they might’ve seen a letter but nothing stated that it would be within 200 feet of our home,” Crowley said.
While many residents have directed their anger at the city, attorney Jacob Lawrence said it’s really the state legislature, telecommunications companies and the federal government who are to blame.
“Everybody wants this new technology to move forward as quickly as possible. The problem is is that they’re doing so without thinking about the consequences of that,” Lawrence said. “Part of the consequences is they are tying the hands of the local municipalities for the simple fact that they’re not letting them be the one to decide whether something is feasible or whether something is correct.”
Companies like Verizon have proposed 400 cell towers across Fishers. Lawrence has successfully fought back against some proposed locations, but he admits those victories are likely temporary.
“Think about it as the railroad,” Lawrence said. “When the railroad came through there is only so many things you can do to throw roadblocks, throw up hurdles but inevitably it came through.”
Right now Verizon is the main company building up towers in the city, however Lawrence wonders what will happen when other companies want to move in. The 5G towers that are being put up right now are only required to be able to support technology for two companies.
“What happens when you have three or four telecom companies that wanna come in and do something,” Lawrence asked. “Now they’re all going to be able to put towers in.”
He hopes communities will get informed on proposed locations of the towers and show up to protest them at public zoning meetings.
“I just don’t feel as if our voice is being heard,” Crowley said.
We reached out to both the City of Fishers and Verizon for comment and have yet to hear back.