Virtual meeting on French Quarter 5G cell phone towers scheduled July 30

(Photo: Cell antennas attached to a tower in the French Quarter | Google Maps)
A virtual community meeting on a proposed cell phone tower system in the French Quarter is scheduled for July 30.

The meeting is organized by the Mayor’s Office of Utilities and the Vieux Carre Commission to provide information on the status of a small cell infrastructure and will be held at 6 p.m.

The virtual meeting’s dial-in number is 504-658-7001 and the access code is 19754757.

At least three major carriers–AT&T, Verizon and Sprint/T-Mobile–have proposed installing permanent 35- to 40-foot 5G cell phone towers in the French Quarter, according to the Vieux Carre Property Owners, Residents and Associates, adding that up to 200 towers within line of sight of each other could be installed to achieve full coverage in the spectrum.

The carriers already deploy temporary towers in the French Quarter during events such as Mardi Gras and French Quarter Fest.

There are currently at least 74 fourth generation (4G) cell phone towers in the French Quarter, according to VCPORA.

The meeting is meant to provide residents and businesses with an introduction and updates on the issue, including: introduction to small cell technology, federal and local regulations of small cell deployments, protections for the tout ensemble of the French Quarter and the proposed design for small cell poles.

Pole designs could include two cabinets measuring five feet tall and two feet wide and deep to house the updated 5G equipment. Additionally, designs resembling historic lamp posts have also been considered by the city, according to VCPORA.