[NBLUG/talk] Cell Tower Upgrades in Sebastopol

Christopher Wagner waggie at waggie.net
Wed Dec 7 15:14:43 PST 2011

Some very good questions, and I agree, a focus on decommissioning the 
older, less efficient equipment is warranted.  Checking with a cell RF 
engineer friend of mine, I've learned there isn't much, if any, analog 
equipment still in service (definitely not in Sebastopol).  There is 
still 2G and 2.5G technology out there in abundance.  I do know the 
currently existing equipment (3 antennas) is not being removed at this time.

You may want to contact the local engineer on the project, who may be 
able to share some of this information.  Calling City Hall in Sebastopol 
(823-1153), asking for the contact information of the engineer (Mr. 
Hammett), then contacting him may yield results.  This engineer is 
contracted, ultimately, by Verizon.  The other cell carrier co-locating 
at that tower is MetroPCS, who is not performing any upgrades at this 
time.  Other carriers have towers elsewhere in Sebastopol.

I hope this helps in some way.  If you do get more information outside 
of this list on this topic, please share it here as well.

- Chris

On 12/07/2011 02:35 PM, Matt Hardwick wrote:
> I am pretty much on board with what has been said here but one thing
> that stands out to me that has not been mentioned is regard to old
> equipment.
> What is the status of the previous equipment, e.g. Analog, 1G, and 2G?
> What has been decommissioned?
> If it hasn't what is the prediction/schedule of when they will be
> decommissioned?
> If this is already happening then the rolling effect of putting up new
> equipment and removing old has already been in effect for some years.
> If it hasn't, then this is what they should honestly be focusing on in
>   my opinion.
> Anyone know the status on this?
> --
> Matt Hardwick
> Sonoma State University
> Student / Developer / IT / Tutor
> On Wed, Dec 7, 2011 at 2:22 PM, Christopher Wagner<waggie at waggie.net>  wrote:
>> It's a fair point, to be sure.  I'll also admit that my statement came up
>> lacking.  Thanks for keeping me on my toes. :)
>> I do think that if the towers don't get upgraded, the old antennas will
>> never be decommissioned, so upgrading is really the only path to move
>> towards reducing unneeded EMF, in my opinion.  Also, the newer antennas will
>> be supporting some of the older technologies also (the applicant
>> specifically stated that the new antennas would also be supporting 3G in
>> addition to 4G), so while there is a total net increase in radiation (around
>> 800 watts each for the three antennas, not exactly a huge amount), it is
>> likely that the older equipment can be replaced not too far in the distant
>> future with more advanced and efficient equipment.
>> If nothing else, electricity is expensive, and companies are always looking
>> for ways to make things more efficient.  I think that we can at least trust
>> the companies to find ways to save money on electricity, which will push
>> them to demand more efficient products from their vendors.  We all know
>> profit margins are the best way to motivate any company.
>> I'd also like to add that radio technology is nothing new.  It has been
>> improving drastically (Moore's Law in action) in efficiency over the past 60
>> years.  Radio gear can serve a far higher number of users with far less
>> wattage than was possible even 20 years ago.
>> To go back to the human health discussion, I know dozens of people that have
>> been working at close proximity with very high powered radio gear for years
>> and many of those for decades (some up to 40 or 50 years), at a pretty wide
>> range of frequencies.  None of whom show the slightest ill effects other
>> than the normal range and occurrence of typical human minor maladies.  It's
>> hardly scientific, but that's my observation and human nature dictates that
>> I be at least partially influenced by my observations.
>> Thanks for your input, Steve.  I appreciate the insight and discussion.
>> - Chris
>> On 12/06/2011 08:47 AM, Steve S. wrote:
>> On Tue, Dec 6, 2011 at 1:46 AM, Christopher Wagner<waggie at waggie.net>
>> wrote:
>> Personally, I support the upgrade, it'll will add 4G coverage in Sebastopol
>> and despite claims by the opposition, my research indicates this will
>> actually reduce overall EMF radiation (newer wireless technologies are far
>> more efficient).
>> While I'm essentially in agreement with you -- I'd like to see
>> more/better coverage -- I have to note that ADDING the 4G won't STOP
>> the older service (at least not for some years... not until pre-4G
>> phones (and the signal that serves them) fall out of use).  The net
>> load of radiation will thus be higher (for those years)...
>> :-/
>> - Steve S.
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