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Monday, February 18 , 2019, 9:29 am | Fair 51º

 
 
 
 

Goleta Design Review Board Paves the Way for Company to Install Wireless Nodes

NextG Networks says its installation of 19 antenna systems would improve Goleta cell service

The Goleta Design Review Board on Tuesday gave its conceptual thumbs-up to wireless communications company NextG Networks’ application to install 19 radio-frequency transport service system nodes throughout Goleta.

The installations, according to the wireless technology company, would result in improved cellular communications throughout Goleta.

NextG, which is not a cellular service provider but rather bills itself as a “carrier’s carrier,” also has applications pending with Carpinteria and the city and county of Santa Barbara. Installation of the NextG system would pave the way for the MetroPCS cellular service on the South Coast. NextG already has launched its system in municipalities along the East Coast, as well as Los Angeles and San Diego.

The nodes consist of antennae to be mounted on existing power poles, street lamps and traffic signals, along with equipment that converts radio-frequency signals to fiber-optic signals and back. The equipment would be connected via an underground network of fiber-optic cables buried in trenches that run through both public and private properties throughout the city. About 200 private property owners within Goleta and Isla Vista have been notified of the project.

Representatives of the communications company fielded questions from the board on issues of aesthetics and safety, assuring them that the installations would take place on existing facilities, and the company would make efforts to keep the equipment as unobtrusive as possible. Additionally, NextG counsel Patrick Ryan said, the radio-frequency emissions generated by the nodes are not considered a risk by the Federal Communications Commission.

According to city staff, Goleta’s ordinance on co-location of antennae — that is, the widely used practice of placing multiple antennae in a single location — limits to three the number of antennae in one place. Each proposal to install antennae by any company would have to go through its own review process, the staff said.

The NextG proposal will go to the Goleta Planning Commission on Sept. 14, and a tentative return to the design review board is scheduled for Oct. 15.

Noozhawk staff writer Sonia Fernandez can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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