Project Overview

Within the thriving metropolitan area of Gaithersburg, Maryland you’ll find a scattering of historic landmark buildings that give the city a unique aesthetic and character. Additionally, you’ll find one of the country's highest ranked school systems, weekend farmers markets, and numerous festivals. It’s no surprise, then, that Gaithersburg has experienced an influx of visitors and a growing population—as well as a need for additional infrastructure to ensure reliable wireless coverage.

To give the residents of Gaithersburg access to the latest in wireless technology, we are proposing an expansion to the small cell solutions (SCS) network already underway in Montgomery County. An SCS network uses a series of small, discrete nodes connected by high-capacity fiber optic cable to supplement existing wireless infrastructure and expand coverage and capacity—an ideal solution for a city like Gaithersburg that needs the capacity and bandwidth that such a network provides.

As a licensed Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (CLEC) in the state of Maryland, we are able to minimize redundant infrastructure by placing nodes on existing structures streetlights, signposts, and utility poles.

We also embrace a shared model. That means we only use infrastructure that can accommodate multiple wireless carriers on the same equipment. This allows us to maximize coverage and capacity with the least amount of infrastructure possible.

Crown Castle is working collaboratively with the City of Gaithersburg Departments of Public Works, Planning, and the Assistant City Attorney on this expansion to design solutions that are both effective at adding much-needed capacity and that align with the existing colonial design style.

The challenges we're solving

We have over 15 years of experience implementing SCS in communities, including dense urban centers and residential neighborhoods. SCS provides many unique benefits, including:

  • With the increased use of data-hungry apps and video, the SCS network will add much-needed capacity and relieve the congestion and strain put on existing towers in the area.
  • With greater coverage and capacity, residents will have more reliable access to public safety and emergency services like 911.
  • Our CLEC status and shared model help preserve neighborhood aesthetics by maximizing coverage and minimizing new infrastructure.
  • By installing on streetlights and utility poles in the public right-of-way, we can give residents the coverage and capacity they need in the most unobtrusive way possible.

Proposed sites

The map below indicates pending proposed sites where installations will be located on streetlights and slimline poles within the public right of way.

Should I be worried about radio frequency emissions?

It’s a common concern. And it’s understandable. But even if you’re right next to a tower or node, cellular RF (radio frequency) output is significantly lower than what FCC guidelines permit. And at ground level, the RF levels are not significantly different from background signals in urban areas from things like TV and radio signals. For these reasons, most scientists agree that there are no adverse health effects from cellular signals.

To read more, visit the following links:

  • American Cancer Society 
    A summary of American Cancer Society studies that have shown no link between cellular RF signals and cancer.
  • Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
    For more information on exposure guidelines and RF safety, click here.
  • International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP)
    ICNIRP is composed of independent scientists from around the world with expertise in a wide variety of disciplines that study the possible adverse effects of RF exposure on human health and recommend safety standards.
  • World Health Organization (WHO)
    As part of its charter to protect public health, and in response to public concern, the World Health Organization established the International EMF (Electromagnetic fields) Project in 1996 to assess the scientific evidence of possible health effects of EMF in the frequency range from 0 to 300 GHz.


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