From its beautiful parks and shorelines to its quaint, tight-knit feel, Mercer Island has become one of the premier residential areas in the state of Washington. In recent years, new bookstores, boutiques, restaurants, and a farmers market have drawn both visitors and residents to the downtown area. This recent growth, along with residents’ increasing reliance on wireless technology has created a need for greater coverage and capacity. To meet this demand, we’re proposing a small cell solutions (SCS) network.
An SCS network will use a series of small, inconspicuous nodes connected by high-capacity fiber optic cable to supplement the existing cell towers in the area. As a licensed Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (CLEC) in the state of Washington, we plan to place nodes in the public right-of-way—on existing infrastructure like utility poles and streetlights, for example.
We embrace a shared model that accommodates multiple wireless carriers on our fiber-fed network—allowing us to maximize coverage and capacity with the least amount of infrastructure possible.
As we go through this process, we will continue working closely with the Planning Commission, City Council, and other Mercer Island city staff to ensure that designs meet all community standards.
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.
The map below indicates pending proposed sites where installations will be located on existing wood utility poles within the public right of way.
Site locations are listed here.
Photo sims for each location can be found here.
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.