Hoover to possibly add fee to cell phone poles

Hoover to possibly add fee to cell phone poles

HOOVER, AL (WBRC) - Newer technology to make your cell phone or tablet faster could be on the way to Hoover.

This week city council meeting with representatives with AT&T about possibly putting up these smaller cell towers throughout the city adding 5G speed to your devices.

"It's really like fiber optics in the air when it comes to speed and latency and all those things that make for a good experience with either your phone or computer or whatever technology you are using," said Hoover City Councilman Mike Shaw.

The towers are a lot smaller than the massive cell phone towers you see over cities. If Hoover has its way, companies like AT&T will pay a fee in order to install the towers. We're told the money will go towards annual inspections.

"There are fees associated with having a pole on the right of way and what we're looking at is $500 per node or per antenna on the right of way that will compensate the public and the city for inspection costs and impact to right of way," Shaw said.

But AT&T says there's no need for an inspection and claim nothing in the ordinance calls for that. They say other companies who have poles in the ground don't have to pay the fee.

"There really is no need for it. It will be discriminatory to do that and charge a fee for that for us," an AT&T representative said to city council on Thursday.

With the city possibly facing a three to five-million-dollar budget shortfall, some feel this fee is just a money maker for Hoover. Shaw doesn't see it that way saying this ordinance will help the city's technology footprint continue to grow for years to come.

"Revenue implications are always important when it comes to fees and those types of decisions, but I don't think right now that any kind of budgetary consideration is having an impact on the fee structure. We just want to make sure the fees are fair to the industry and fair to the people of Hoover," Shaw said.

Shaw says other cities around Hoover are also charging $500 already. The only difference is Hoover is wanting to charge per node versus per pole or support structure.

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