Truckee Town Council hears 5G presentation |

Truckee Town Council hears 5G presentation

Truckee Town Council heard a presentation on 5G telecommunications service during its Tuesday session, ultimately learning that federal law doesn’t allow for much to be done in terms of the service being put in place by carriers.

“Telecommunication service is one of the things where it’s predominantly regulated by federal law,” said Town Attorney Andy Morris. “Cities and counties and states are specifically prohibited from regulating wireless facilities based on health concerns. All the law allows cities and counties and states to do is to make sure that facilities meet some very old circa 1996 FCC standards … We can’t require them to meet tougher standards. We can’t turn down facility applications based on fears that facilities using those standards might harm people. We’re simply not allowed to do that.”

In telecommunications, 5G is the fifth generation technology standard for cellular networks.

In terms of halting 5G from being implemented, Morris added that the town can’t simply sit on applications due to time limits being put in place by the FCC. Also, existing towers can be upgraded to 5G as long as the footprint of the facility doesn’t change.

Morris also said the town can’t tell a carrier it’s not allowed to fill a gap in its coverage.

“If a carrier comes to the town and says ‘I want to put up a new tower,’ whether it’s 5G or not, and they say that, ‘We absolutely have to have this. We’ve looked at other sites. We’ve looked at other ways of filling in this gap, and this is really the only way to fill in the gap.’ We kind of have to let them … there’s a lot that we cannot do, and there’s very, very little that we can do.”

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at or 530-550-2643.

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