Information provided by ANC 2E and its Small Cell Facilities Project website
On Thursday, September 13, at 7 pm, Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2E, the Citizens Association of Georgetown, and the Georgetown Business Improvement District will hold a town hall to discuss the DC government's current Small Cell Facilities Project. DC government representatives will give a presentation on the project, including an overview of the implementation timeline, and wireless providers will also be in attendance to answer questions. Ample time will be allotted for questions from attendees. The City Tavern Club, 3206 M Street NW, is hosting the meeting.
The project, which is being facilitated by the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), the Office of Public-Private Partnerships (OP3), and the Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO), aims to promote the installation of wireless communications facilities (“small cells”) by wireless providers on poles throughout DC. These small cells will improve the quality of wireless service throughout the District with faster data coverage and capacity and will facilitate the eventual launch of 5G services.
Local residents and businesses have conveyed concerns to ANC 2E, CAG, and the Georgetown BID about the effects that the proposed small cells will have on our area. These concerns relate to the distribution density, public health effects, construction and maintenance details, design and appearance specifications, and technical and siting standards of the small cells, among other issues.
At its June 14 meeting, ANC 2E passed a resolution (6-0-0) supporting the benefits of installing wireless telecommunications facilities but expressing concern that permit and other required authorizations were not being properly implemented. Among other things, the resolution also requests that the city comply with required ANC and councilmember notice and recognize the jurisdiction of the Old Georgetown Board, Commission of Fine Arts, and Historic Preservation Review Board for cells installed within Georgetown. (The locations mentioned in the resolution were preliminary and are not definite, meaning that Burleith could be considered. Organizers of the town hall have asked for a map of the locations from the carriers and signers of DDOT's Master License Agreement, which governs use of DC's public right of way.)