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Cellphones Government Networking Wireless Networking

Long Island Town Enacts Tough Cell Tower Limits 310

crimeandpunishment writes "They're getting tougher on towers on Long Island. The town of Hempstead, NY has imposed some of the toughest cell phone tower restrictions in the country. The ordinance prohibits wireless equipment within 1,500 feet of homes, schools, day care centers, and houses of worship, unless the company can prove absolute need. A spokesman for Verizon says, 'It's not unheard of for towns to have issues, but this is extreme,' and says this makes 95 percent of the town off limits to future antenna construction." With internet access by 3G, 4G and WiMax getting ever more common, I suspect that not everyone in the town will appreciate blocking out the companies that provide it.
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Long Island Town Enacts Tough Cell Tower Limits

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  • by gnasher719 ( 869701 ) on Saturday September 25, 2010 @09:33AM (#33696334)
    Fact is that your mobile phone will send a stronger signal if it notices that the cell tower is far away, so that the signal can be received there. So if you vary the distance from the cell tower, radiation from the tower will get less when you move further away, but radiation from your phone will get more. There is an optimal spot in between where the total radiation hitting you is minimised.

    I would assume that this optimal point is less than 1500 feet from the tower. If that is the case, then anyone using their phone in these "protected" places will receive more radiation.
  • by vadim_t ( 324782 ) on Saturday September 25, 2010 @09:44AM (#33696386) Homepage

    Assuming signal strength is somehow harmful, they're doing the exactly wrong thing to deal with it.

    By imposing those limits, they force towers to be further apart. To cover the area anyway they'll have to bring the power way up. The schools, daycare centers and so on will probably get about the same amount of RF as before, but whatever is near that tower will get cooked. And for those who protest the aesthetics, it's going to be a big ugly one as well.

    What they should be doing instead is peppering the area with a weak tower on every roof. Then they can have coverage without strong emitters anywhere.

  • by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Saturday September 25, 2010 @09:55AM (#33696450) Journal

    >>>If we impose the 1,500 foot blackout... there is what, maybe ONE place to put a tower?

    This reminds me of a conversation I had with my art teacher. I said the US Congress has banned incandescent bulbs effective 2012. He immediately pointed out that the law doesn't directly ban incandescents. It requires a 50% reduction in energy usage. I replied that's the same effect as a direct ban because no incandescent can meet that standard, so what's the difference? None.

    Same with this celltower law. It doesn't directly ban the towers, but the 1500 foot limit has the same effect, which I bet was the politicians' plan all along. "We did not ban celltowers in Hempstead." Yeah. Accept that you did because now no towers can be built.

    Aside -

    I consider Edison's incandescent bulbs to be a superior technology to CFLs. Fast turnon, can be used in cold/hot areas (or enclosed fixtures), cost consumers 1/10th to buy, use fewer materials, easy to recycle, and no mercury vapor.

  • by Timothy Brownawell ( 627747 ) <> on Saturday September 25, 2010 @10:12AM (#33696524) Homepage Journal

    It's not a dictatorship, people voted in place the officials that made this happen, it's what most of them want.

    1. Don't local elections tend to have really lousy turnout? It's hard to say "most" people want this, if most people don't bother to vote.

    2. If people do think they want this, do they understand the (obvious) implications of what they agreed to?

  • by wowbagger ( 69688 ) on Saturday September 25, 2010 @10:13AM (#33696528) Homepage Journal

    This sort of legislation is due to the "OMFG I KIN FEEL IT IN MY BWAIN!!!" tinfoil hat crowd, saying "RADIASION IZ KILLIN DE BEEZ!"

    And since the vast majority of people don't see fit to have an opinion on this, the vocal moronity - err, minority - are all that is heard, and the politicians will bow to the herd to get votes.

    The right answer IMHO would be for all the carriers to say "OK, fine - since you are too sensitive for our signals, we will remove them." Let us see what happens when Joe Ranknfile finds his precccisouuuussss cellphone doesn't work, and it is due to the tinfoil hat brigade and the spineless political hacks who covet their votes. Suddenly it won't be JUST the tinfoilers who are making themselves heard.

  • by rally2xs ( 1093023 ) on Saturday September 25, 2010 @10:21AM (#33696564)

    Yeah, well, if they're that upset about radiation, maybe we don't give them television, radio, ban the 2-ways in the police, fire, and ambulance, nobody can own a cell phone or any other 2-way communications, no more wireless computer networks, wi-fi, etc. Landline phones only, no remote car door unlockers or garage door raisers... its fun to take it to an extreme... but this is already an extreme...

    Its dumb as a box of rocks. All they're saying is, "We don't want ANYTHING to change, anywhere, anytime, for any reason."

    People I love to hate...

  • Not uncommon (Score:3, Interesting)

    by PNutts ( 199112 ) on Saturday September 25, 2010 @10:33AM (#33696616)

    TFA mentions another city that tried similar restrictions and was overturned by a federal court. There is a proposed Wi-Max tower half a block from my house and the neighborhood is doing everything they can to stop it. The city has made it clear they have no say in the matter as tower placement is governed by the state and feds. So... IMHO Hempstead will be in court the next time a carrier proposes a new tower, and while it may delay the tower being built Hempstead spend a lot of money and lose. Also, cell towers are a source of revenue and in my part of town they are primarily on school buildings (the building itself or their chimneys), churches, watertowers, one in a graveyard, etc. We have very few stand-alone towers which may be part of the NIMBY here.

  • by Phoobarnvaz ( 1030274 ) on Saturday September 25, 2010 @11:01AM (#33696760)

    Same with this celltower law. It doesn't directly ban the towers, but the 1500 foot limit has the same effect, which I bet was the politicians' plan all along. "We did not ban celltowers in Hempstead." Yeah. Accept that you did because now no towers can be built.

    Had the same issue with power plants in Arizona. During the summer...they can't produce enough power to run the AC...but heaven forbid you want to build more plants or ship in more expensive power from out of state. When you get outages and brownouts...these same people bitch/moan that more power is needed without the plants or raising their electric bills. When the solutions are there in plain view...not in my backyard and you better not obstruct my views either.

    The funniest part of this is the ones crying the loudest about the lack of service are the ones who don't want the plants/towers where they can be seen...even from Pluto.

  • by Kymermosst ( 33885 ) on Saturday September 25, 2010 @02:19PM (#33697790) Journal

    Taking your comment another way...

    So what if the cell phone company chooses not to set up shop in your town because it's not profitable?

    Are you going to be adolescent and call them names too for not making it less possible for people to die?

    Oh... what about my right to not have electromagnetic radiation involuntarily pulsed through my body for your convenience?

    (For the record, I don't have a problem with being subject to radio tower emissions, but some people do).

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