Project Overview

In 2014, cellular telephone carriers contacted Crown Castle with concerns over coverage in Piedmont. Crown Castle tested signal strength in Piedmont four separate times in October 2014, August 2015, March 2016 and June 2016. Those tests showed significant issues with signal coverage in the city. Because of the topography, planning restrictions and density of the community, it was determined small cells were the best and only option to fill the critical coverage gaps, as opposed to a single, large "macro-site." Crown Castle and City staff surveyed potential sites and developed a proposed plan for nine new small cell sites.

Small Cell Solutions (SCS) uses a series of nodes–connected by high-capacity fiber optic cable—supplementing the existing network and thereby providing critical coverage and capacity. As a licensed Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (CLEC) in the state of California, we are able to place small, inconspicuous nodes in the public right-of-way where other utility equipment is currently located—on existing utility poles and streetlights, for example. This minimizes the need for additional poles in the public rights-of-way and thereby allows for an overall less intrusive network.

Over the past two and a half years, Crown Castle has run intensive tests to determine the need and site placement; working within its fixed technical parameters and network coverage targets Crown Castle collaborated closely with City staff and made dozens of changes at their request; and has been as flexible as possible in locating and designing this vital communication infrastructure. As we go through this process, we will continue to work closely with the City of Piedmont.

Click here for additional information.

Small Cell Redesign Summary

Crown Castle received feedback from residents of the Piedmont Community during a Planning Commision hearing in June. As a result of the feedback, Crown Castle made revisions to the nine small cell sites proposed in the city. Click the links below to view both the original designs and revisions.

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 new data-hungry communications technologies, the SCS network will add much-needed capacity and relieve the congestion and strain put on existing towers in the area.
  • Our CLEC status and shared model help preserve neighborhood aesthetics by maximizing coverage while minimizing new infrastructure.
  • With greater coverage and capacity, residents will have more reliable access to public safety and emergency services like 911.
  • 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.

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.