Verizon Demos 5G In Lobbying Push For Access To City Poles

Tour guide Jason Bello aboard a small, retrofitted bus designed to give riders a sense of what 5G wireless technology will look like in the future. AUSTIN JENKINS / NORTHWEST NEWS NETWORK

Listen

Marches and rallies are a common occurrence at the Washington Capitol. But recently Verizon Wireless staged a different kind of demonstration. It was part of an ongoing lobbying effort to get lawmakers to pass industry-friendly legislation. 




Tour guide Jason Bello invited guests to board a small bus and take a ride into the future. The ride around Washington’s Capitol campus was designed to give riders a glimpse into the future of cell service — 5G. 




The bus windows transformed into video screens and it looked like we were in a city bus riding past Central Park in Manhattan. 

 




“And your bus windows are actually also smart, heads-up displays,” Bello said. 




As you watched the cityscape go by, the bus windows displayed information about key points of interest. 

 




“Whether that’s about public transportation, ‘hey jump off this bus, get on that subway,’ about cultural locations or even something like a restaurant,” Bello said. 

 




But to make that 5G simulation a reality someday will take hundreds of thousands of new, smaller, cell phone antennas all over the urban landscape. And that’s why the Verizon 5G bus came to Washington’s Capitol. 




The wireless industry hopes to revive legislation that would preempt local zoning rules in order to fast-track placement of the new network of antennas. 




Verizon’s Gordon Cook showed off one of these antennas. 

 




“It’s a box about half the size of a toaster,” he said. “This one’s painted white, that one’s painted green to match the utility pole.” 

 




Cook said Verizon wants to strap 5,000 to 6,000 of these boxes onto street poles in Washington in the next few years. First they’d be used to augment current 4G service. Eventually they would be swapped out with 5G antennas. 

 




“We want to be able to put these up quickly and to serve more folks with them and bring higher quality data services to people,” Cook said. 

 




But Cook said current local zoning rules are an impediment. City officials have fought back saying they want some control over how and where small cell antennas are placed. 




With just two weeks left in the current legislative session, intense negotiations on a compromise continue.

Copyright 2017 NWNews. To see more, visit NWNews.

Related Stories:

Washington State Patrol troopers use a chain to secure a gate at the governor's residence following a security breach on Wednesday, September 15, 2021.

Another Breach At Washington Governor’s Mansion Reveals Ongoing Security Gaps

A woman was able to enter the secure grounds of Washington’s governor’s residence on Wednesday before being stopped by the Washington State Patrol. Gov. Jay Inslee and First Lady Trudi Inslee were not home at the time. The security breach follows a much larger incident on January 6 when a group of pro-Trump supporters forced open a gate and spilled onto the mansion lawn, eventually making their way to the mansion’s front portico. Continue Reading Another Breach At Washington Governor’s Mansion Reveals Ongoing Security Gaps

Read More »
Comparison photos captured by the research nonprofit SR3 showed endangered Pacific Northwest orca J36 is pregnant.

Babies On Board! Three Endangered Northwest Killer Whales Look Very Pregnant In Aerial Photos

Research photos taken with a drone show multiple killer whales are close to giving birth in one of the Pacific Northwest’s critically endangered pods. The late-stage pregnancies stirred excitement among whale watchers — and also renewed worries about the availability of adequate food supply for the mothers and babies. Continue Reading Babies On Board! Three Endangered Northwest Killer Whales Look Very Pregnant In Aerial Photos

Read More »