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Neighbors concerned about 5G cell tower in Gilbert

5G tower Gilbert
Posted at 10:10 PM, Aug 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-11 07:31:26-04

GILBERT, AZ — A new 5G tower is going up right next to a Gilbert family's front yard -- and more could be coming.

5G wireless coverage is faster and provides greater bandwidth but some worry about potential health concerns.

"It's a new technology and I don't think the impacts, long-term impacts, have been studied enough to prove otherwise if it's healthy or not," said homeowner Iuliana Chiscar.

The Chiscar family was unaware the tower was going up until last week.

Verizon will be replacing the existing streetlight with one that has 5G wireless equipment attached.

Technically, that is town property but the construction that goes along with it is right next to the Chiscar's front yard.

Verizon told the Chiscars that this is fully permitted through the town of Gilbert, and permissible under both federal and Arizona state law.

The town website says: The permitting process for wireless facilities, in the right of way, was approved by the council in 2017 in compliance with a state statute that removes local authority.

The Chiscars feel they should still have a say in this.

"We have kids in the house that we're concerned about," says Chiscar.

Neighbors say they want faster internet but not at the expense of their health. Some question why the 5G tower has to be in a residential neighborhood.

"I shouldn't have to look at a map of Gilbert to look for all the easements of where you could put a tower, right? That shouldn't be my job. It should also be the job of Verizon and other companies to come out and talk to the homeowners," says Jacob Given.

A Verizon fact sheet was sent to the homeowners, stating research has been conducted on radio-frequency energy for decades. It also meets FCC safety standards.

"There are ten kids that live within 100 feet of this tower, right. You know, 60 years from now, I don't know what's going to happen, but I don't want to... I don't want to look back on this and go, well I didn't fight hard enough for my kids because we didn't know enough then to push back on this," says Given.

While this may be inconvenient, the project moves forward with more towers expected to pop up.

To learn more about 5G, click here.