letter to the editor

Sweet Briar citizen said her neighborhood has ‘no control’ concerning 5G antennas

The worry and concern over the spread of the novel coronavirus and its impact on the economy may make the concern over the 5G small cell antennas, which are going up in our Sweet Briar neighborhood, seem frivolous.

In explaining why people are hoarding toilet tissue, potatoes and other goods at this time of confusion about the spread of the virus, psychologist explain the hoarding of such items as a need to have some control over our lives. We citizens of Sweet Briar have been given no control over the decision of placing 5G small cell antennas in our community.

According to a Politico article “Questions for Robert Blair, Trump’s Point Man on 5G,” Mr. Blair stated “… the true competitive benefit of 5G is not going to be in downloading movies more quickly. It’s going to be building out those industrial uses. It’s going to be in the transportation sector. It’s going to be in the medical sector. It’s going to be in the mining sector.”

These statements beg the question: why target a small middle class neighborhood, such as Sweet Briar, for 5G? State Rep. Jason Zachary (R-District 14) informed his constituents at the March 12 Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting that he had worked out a verbal agreement with AT&T and Verizon about complying with Farragut’s aesthetics requirements.

It is my understanding the poles that will hold the 5G antenna will be taller than a two story house and will be placed every 500 feet. Sweet Briar has worked for many years with the Town of Farragut in keeping the neighborhood free of poles, our utilities are underground, and to think of a pole every 500 feet is unacceptable.

Mr. Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, testified before the United States Senate’s Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation: “the FCC decided that small cells would no longer have to go through the same federal historic preservation and environmental review processes. (This) … step will expedite the deployment of small cells, cut the cost of deployment and allow for the faster rollout of 5G.” It appears faster rollout in the 5G market comes before the citizens of Sweet Briar’s own desires for their neighborhood.

Just as a heads up, all residential communities will face this 5G invasion eventually. In working though our present and long-term concerns about 5G, let us not forget the workers being impacted by the coronavirus and donate to food banks, keep our restaurants busy with curb side pick-up meals and thank the Lord we live in this country where we can help others and speak our minds without government interference.

Brenda Miller