Small Cell Infrastructure

What is small cell technology?

The next generation of technology for mobile device coverage and speed use what are known as “small cell facilities,” which supplement larger cell towers. Small cell facilities are the global trend for wireless infrastructure and they are smaller, more densely placed wireless facilities that can be located on buildings, poles, and other built structures as well as underground.

Small cells can transfer data using the low-, mid-, and high-band spectrum, either licensed or unlicensed. Small cells work in tandem to create a macro network to increase one or any combination of capacity, density, and coverage for wireless services. Because small cells typically service smaller geographic areas, more are needed to complete a network necessitating a dense infrastructure. Typically, small cells are placed 600 feet apart. Mobile carriers use small cells to extend their service coverage and/or to increase their network capacity.

What You Should Know About the City of Aspen's Power to Regulate

Small Cell infrastructure is regulated under both state and federal law. Colorado state law was amended in 2017 by House Bill 1193 to create a use-by-right for small cell facilities in any zone district and shortens the time frame within which the City must act on an application for a small cell facility to 60 or 90 days. It also gives providers the right to locate or collocate small cell facilities on a City’s lights poles, traffic signals, and similar infrastructure in the City’s rights-of-way.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has numerous regulations that local governments must follow, leaving very little room for municipalities like Aspen to regulate the wireless carriers on where they install the technology, how dense the small towers are, and how long Aspen has to respond to an application for installation. Federal Communications Commission rules allow for very dense deployment of the technology in municipal rights-of-way anywhere in the United States.

Learn more about this at www.cityofaspen.com/smallcell

What Can the City Do?

To the extent the City of Aspen can regulate small cell facilities, we are striving to do that. Primarily, this means creating design guidelines for what the infrastructure will look like in order to put some rules in place where possible to maintain Aspen's character. The City of Aspen is currently working to revise design guidelines and has updated the Land Use Code.

With regard to health, local governments cannot regulate wireless facilities based on health or environmental effects. The law states:

“No State or local government…may regulate…wireless service facilities on the basis of environmental effects of radio frequency emissions…” FCC rule 332.C.7

The City of Aspen is committed to ensuring that all wireless facilities within the city, including small cell facilities, comply with all federal regulations.

Below you will find:

  • A survey asking for your input on design questions
  • An open ended question on your opinions on cell service in Aspen
  • An open ended question to share your concerns when it comes to health issues and small cell
  • A Q&A tab to leave questions for City staff

We look forward to hearing from you.

The City of Aspen offered small group meetings for the public to attend. The link for the presentation is in the document library to your right, which may help you learn more about this issue and answer the questions below. You can also find it here.

There is more information on small cell at www.cityofaspen.com/smallcell


What is small cell technology?

The next generation of technology for mobile device coverage and speed use what are known as “small cell facilities,” which supplement larger cell towers. Small cell facilities are the global trend for wireless infrastructure and they are smaller, more densely placed wireless facilities that can be located on buildings, poles, and other built structures as well as underground.

Small cells can transfer data using the low-, mid-, and high-band spectrum, either licensed or unlicensed. Small cells work in tandem to create a macro network to increase one or any combination of capacity, density, and coverage for wireless services. Because small cells typically service smaller geographic areas, more are needed to complete a network necessitating a dense infrastructure. Typically, small cells are placed 600 feet apart. Mobile carriers use small cells to extend their service coverage and/or to increase their network capacity.

What You Should Know About the City of Aspen's Power to Regulate

Small Cell infrastructure is regulated under both state and federal law. Colorado state law was amended in 2017 by House Bill 1193 to create a use-by-right for small cell facilities in any zone district and shortens the time frame within which the City must act on an application for a small cell facility to 60 or 90 days. It also gives providers the right to locate or collocate small cell facilities on a City’s lights poles, traffic signals, and similar infrastructure in the City’s rights-of-way.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has numerous regulations that local governments must follow, leaving very little room for municipalities like Aspen to regulate the wireless carriers on where they install the technology, how dense the small towers are, and how long Aspen has to respond to an application for installation. Federal Communications Commission rules allow for very dense deployment of the technology in municipal rights-of-way anywhere in the United States.

Learn more about this at www.cityofaspen.com/smallcell

What Can the City Do?

To the extent the City of Aspen can regulate small cell facilities, we are striving to do that. Primarily, this means creating design guidelines for what the infrastructure will look like in order to put some rules in place where possible to maintain Aspen's character. The City of Aspen is currently working to revise design guidelines and has updated the Land Use Code.

With regard to health, local governments cannot regulate wireless facilities based on health or environmental effects. The law states:

“No State or local government…may regulate…wireless service facilities on the basis of environmental effects of radio frequency emissions…” FCC rule 332.C.7

The City of Aspen is committed to ensuring that all wireless facilities within the city, including small cell facilities, comply with all federal regulations.

Below you will find:

  • A survey asking for your input on design questions
  • An open ended question on your opinions on cell service in Aspen
  • An open ended question to share your concerns when it comes to health issues and small cell
  • A Q&A tab to leave questions for City staff

We look forward to hearing from you.

The City of Aspen offered small group meetings for the public to attend. The link for the presentation is in the document library to your right, which may help you learn more about this issue and answer the questions below. You can also find it here.

There is more information on small cell at www.cityofaspen.com/smallcell


Discussions: All (2) Open (2)
  • You need to be signed in to add your comment.

    Do you support additional wireless facilities in Aspen if they would improve coverage / service / speed of your wireless devices? Why or why not. Please share your thoughts here.  You may want to consider the perspective of locals and tourists and if the coverage, service, and speed needs are different for either demographic.



    Do you support additional wireless facilities in Aspen if they would improve coverage / service / speed of your wireless devices? Why or why not. Please share your thoughts here.  You may want to consider the perspective of locals and tourists and if the coverage, service, and speed needs are different for either demographic.



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  • Health Issues

    about 1 month ago

    You need to be signed in to add your comment.

    Please know that local government is bound by federal law and cannot regulate small cell facilities based on health. The law states:

    “No State or local government…may regulate…wireless service facilities on the basis of environmental effects of radio frequency emissions…”  FCC rule 332.C.7

    The City of Aspen is committed to ensuring that all wireless facilities within the city, including small cell facilities, comply with all federal regulations.

    If health is your primary concern with small cell facilities, please share your concerns here.

    Please know that local government is bound by federal law and cannot regulate small cell facilities based on health. The law states:

    “No State or local government…may regulate…wireless service facilities on the basis of environmental effects of radio frequency emissions…”  FCC rule 332.C.7

    The City of Aspen is committed to ensuring that all wireless facilities within the city, including small cell facilities, comply with all federal regulations.

    If health is your primary concern with small cell facilities, please share your concerns here.

    comment
    Reply notification settings
    Submitting your comment
    Cancel