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Metro council may 'pump the brakes' on 5G cell towers

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BATON ROUGE - Metro council members sided with residents at Wednesday night's meeting opposed to new 5G small cell towers being put up in their neighborhoods.

"We need to pump the brakes because they're coming to a front yard near you," said councilman Trae Welch.

Many are opposed to the new towers, resembling light posts, popping up in right of ways outside houses. AT&T has temporarily halted new small towers at the request of the mayor-president.

The metro council first approved the new technology in 2017 to get ahead of other regions of the country. Now the mayor-president's office hopes to propose changes to the ordinance by July.

"As a community we want the technology and we want to make sure the community feels comfortable with where these things are being located and what they look like," said Chief Administrative Officer Darryl Gissel.

AT&T released the following statement concerning Wednesday night's metro council discussion:

We continue to work with the Mayor, City officials, and citizens who are interested in this important investment, including answering questions about the needs of our customers, explaining how small cells help meet current needs and lay the foundation for the 5G future, and how quickly we can begin to deploy them in areas of need. We look forward to the ongoing conversation as we work to bring the latest technologies to serve the growing connectivity demand in Baton Rouge.

Many residents at the meeting also expressed health concerns about the new technology, fears that are currently running rampant in other parts of the country where 5G small cell towers are being built.

In response, AT&T provided a number of links from major health organizations that have found little to no health effects.

-Wireless Health Facts

-World Health Organization

-American Cancer Society

-Food and Drug Administration


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