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5G Towers Paused

The Company placing giant 5G towers throughout the City has “paused all new submissions” in response to a letter from the Conservancy and colleague groups that expressed our concerns about how required federal reviews have been handled to date.

The State Historic Preservation Office has also paused reviews of existing 5G submissions after expressing its own concerns.

City Bridge President Rob Sokota responded that the company “takes seriously” our concerns and “simply need time to work with regulators to adopt appropriate processes to remediate those concerns.” The DeBlasio Administration awarded City Bridge the franchise for 5G towers with little public notice or information.

Sokota added in a letter that the company is looking for “maximum transparency and a more streamlined procedure for consulting parties” to offer comments. He added that he would be back to the colleagues within a month.

The towers’ installations are subject to a Federal 106 Review Process that allows for public comment and an assessment of their impact on historic districts and individual landmarks. There could be 2000 to 3000 towers installed throughout the boroughs.

The colleagues wrote to the Federal Communications Commission and Advisory Council on Historic Preservation on July 6 complaining that we have been “inundated with partial information.” We asked for a comprehensive map and photos that would allow us to assess the impact on the City, let alone on individual historic districts. We also asked for an Environmental Assessment of these installations and clear instructions for anyone who wishes to be a consulting party.

It took a letter from Congressman Jerry Nadler for the FCC to even invoke the federal review. Nadler was responding to widespread public dismay as towers appeared without notice. While the City said the towers were to provide better service in underserved communities, they initially appeared on the Upper East Side and in SoHo/NoHo.

Peg Breen, President
The New York Landmarks Conservancy

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