Last week, David Maxson gave a presentation to the Branford, Connecticut Cell Tower Advisory Panel.
Here’s an excerpt of an article about the event in the Branford Eagle:
Last week a Boston-based cellular consultant told a gathering of shoreline leaders and residents that there are viable alternatives to standard cell towers that are less intrusive. He echoed the sentiments adopted by the House last night.
David Maxson shared his expertise last week with members of Branford’s Cell Tower Advisory Panel and about 35 residents from Branford and other shoreline towns.
Maxson foresees greater reliance on Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) which use smaller antenna nodes distributed throughout an area rather than standard cell towers.
“DAS is now a very actively invested-in industry,” Maxson said. “It did not see a recession last year.” He said such systems can be effective in highly-populated areas, but are not feasible in all locations. As the demand for more cell power increases, Maxson said alternatives such as DAS are becoming more popular. “We’re seeing prices go down and effectiveness go up.”
The need for more cellular power is being driven by the consumer market, according to Maxson. He said the country is at a “wireless tipping point” where 60 percent of households nationwide have both landlines and cell phones, and the other 40 percent is equally divided between homes without cell phones and homes without landlines.
“Landlines are going away and cell phones are becoming the medium of choice,” he said.
Another trend he sees is the increasing number of people who rely on cell phones not just for talking and texting, but also for browsing the internet and downloading user applications.
“It’s quite interesting to see how the industry has evolved,” he said as he discussed the need for more coverage. “There’s pressure to have more cell sites.”
And that pressure is being felt by communities as they grapple with cellular companies who want to built multiple towers.
Prior to Maxson’s presentation, First Selectman Anthony “Unk” DaRos told the gathering he formed the Cell Tower Advisory panel because of the “bombarding we got from the cell tower companies.”
Towers are being proposed for at least eight sites in Branford, and at numerous locations along the Connecticut shoreline. Many, like the ones in Stony Creek and along Pine Orchard Road, are being driven by Amtrak’s desire to boost connectivity for its passengers. Others, like the one proposed for Short Beach, are an attempt to remedy cell coverage gaps.
“Where this is going, I don’t know,” DaRos said in regard to the cell tower situation. “If we’re going to deal with this, we need to be educated.”