In a blow to 5G rollout, the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts has dismissed a lawsuit by ExteNet Systems, Inc. against the City of Cambridge, MA.
ExteNet is known as a “neutral host.” Neutral host providers build wireless infrastructure and then lease space to wireless companies (Verizon, T-Mobile etc.) that provide actual service to customers.
ExteNet filed an application in Cambridge to replace utility light poles with new ones that would stealthily house wireless infrastructure to be leased to wireless companies. Cambridge officials wanted applicants working on such a project with other companies to designate a lead company for the application.
In practical terms, that means wireless companies who lease from neutral host providers would have to be named participants in such projects, providing necessary information and transparency. Up until now they have been able to avoid doing so and have been successful in keeping such information away from municipalities and concerned citizens.
The district court approved Cambridge’s requirement for all the relevant information.
This is a significant development in the fight against 5G rollout, since a very large portion of what’s known as “small cell” deployments are planned, permitted and constructed by neutral host providers.
Small cells have all the same characteristics of the classic base stations that have been used by telecom companies for years. However they are unique capable of handling high data rates over shorter distances, which helps to overcome the short signal reach of the higher frequency 5G spectrum.
As a result, small cells have been called the “backbone” of 5G technology.
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Photo by Tamanoeconomico