Cities across Florida, including every municipality in Palm Beach County, are asking for the governor to veto a bill that would allow telecommunication companies to install cell phone signal boosting hardware on city-owned poles, charging the companies $150 per month, per pole.
This is in preparation for 5G, the next generation of phone service, which is expected in 2022.
The Florida League of Cities sent a letter on behalf of 412 cities across Florida asking for Gov. Rick Scott to strike it down.
If signed, it would allow companies to put cell service boosting devices, ranging from antennas, to refrigerator sized boxes, onto city owned poles for a max $150 per box, per year.
The problem, according to Anne Gerwig, current mayor of Wellington, and member of the Palm Beach County League of Cities (they work closely with Florida League of Cities), is not with progress, but it gives free reign to companies to change how a city looks.
“It’s big business. It is. And it’s a service we want our residents to have we just want to be able to work with the providers and do it properly,” Gerwig says.
In the letter, the Florida League of Cities argues two cities in Florida bill companies over $1,000 per box, per year.
“It just feels like we don’t have a seat at the table,” Gerwig says.
Palm Beach Lakes man Kyle Elkins says cell service is already fine the way it is.
“I don’t think they should do anything about it. I think it’s a way for them to make more money. I think everything is good the way it’s going,” Gerwig says.
If the governor signs off, it takes effect in July.