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Letter: Small cells will hurt Michigan

The Detroit News
We will not stand by and allow the cell phone industry to finagle yet another conversion of our resources, the author writes.

David Lewis’ recent opinion (“Small cell technology offers huge benefits,” Nov. 19) is full of false claims.

I will address just a couple of the faulty assertions:

“Michigan has always stayed at the forefront by updating and streamlining state laws to bring new services to consumers. We did it years ago for traditional phone service, and we also did it for cable TV,” Lewis writes.

All of Michigan has been waiting for the competitive high-speed and low-cost Internet access, cable service and phone service across this great state that your company, AT&T Michigan,  promised in 2002, 2005, 2007 and 2016. Four laws passed in those years in exchange for industry promises.

Lewis writes: “'Small cells' are exactly what they sound like; they are small cellular antennas that enhance a wireless network by increasing capacity in a specific area, as compared to a larger area served by a traditional cell tower.”

Now you are back again and you want free and unregulated access to our taxpayer supported roadways so you can sell us all more high priced cellular service, while we subsidize AT&T's billion dollar business.

We know that your “small cells” that will be showing up in our neighborhoods are anything but small. In fact the fine print in your legislation calls for more than 31 cubic feet on new 40-50-foot tall poles in front of our homes.

I and other mayors, township supervisors and county executives across this state oppose this legislation now that we have been fully informed of its failings. 

If you want to engage in a serious effort to do good for all the people of this state by truly improving and adding new technologies, I and many other community leaders stand ready to assist anyway we can. But we will not stand by and allow the cell phone industry to finagle yet another conversion of our resources in exchange for a pocketful of empty promises.

Leo Savoie, supervisor

Bloomfield Township