5G installation shouldn’t take precedence over residents’ quality of life
Statement of Alderwoman Marina Dimitrijevic August 21, 2020
Over the last week, residents of the 14th District have placed calls, sent emails and taken to social media to voice their displeasure with Verizon’s 5G cable installation across the district. This process has caused disruption to public right-of-ways, residents’ front lawns, and decreased overall quality of life. Even worse, many residents are receiving day-of construction notice which is not in compliance with the requisite 48 hours that is supposed to be given.
Any company or organization doing work within our neighborhoods should demonstrate respect for the residents of that area. I’m disappointed with Verizon’s actions, as well as with the Federal Communications Commission’s regulations, and 2019 Wisconsin Act 14, which place narrow limits on what local municipalities can control regarding 5G installation.
After my conversations with Verizon, the Department of Public Works and the City Attorney’s Office, it has been agreed upon that Verizon will start providing ample notice to area residents including three full days (as opposed to the standard 48 hours) prior to construction, along with appropriate contact information should any issues arise.
The Department of Public Works will investigate and suspend work if there is evidence of dumping, public or private property damage, disregard for private property, improper notification, or other serious problems. Photos and complaints should be emailed to DPWpermits@milwaukee.gov for investigation.
The City of Milwaukee fought against the state bill written by monopolistic telecommunications in Madison and we are now living with the free for all that was created. Affordable access to broadband is a priority but these corporations’ interests shouldn’t be more powerful than the people’s. We aren’t done with our fighting back yet.