Project Overview

Gateway to the nation’s capital, Montgomery County is a robust business community containing many major U.S. government offices as well as leading research centers. With its breathtaking parks, unique restaurants and outstanding theaters and art galleries, it’s no wonder more than 7 million tourists visit each year. In this bustling region, additional infrastructure is essential to ensure that both residents and visitors have access to wireless coverage. 

To help give more reliable access to wireless services, we’re proposing a new Small Cell Solutions (SCS) network. As the latest in wireless technology, SCS uses a series of nodes–connected by high-capacity fiber optic cable—supplementing the existing network and expanding coverage and capacity.

As a licensed Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (CLEC) in the state of Maryland, we are able to place small, inconspicuous nodes in the public right-of-way where other utility equipment is currently located—on utility poles and streetlights, for example. This minimizes redundant infrastructure and reduces the number of new facilities needed.

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.

Crown Castle is working collaboratively with the Montgomery County Department of Transportation, Department of Technology Services-Office of Cable & Broadband Services, as well as the Office of Planning and Zoning and Montgomery County Council 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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