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Frequently Asked Questions

Are small cells safe?

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), in consultation with numerous other federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, developed the safety standards that govern radio frequency (RF) emissions for small cells, the technology behind 5th Generation (5G) cell service. The FCC notes that its standards “incorporate prudent margins of safety” and that “radio frequency emissions from antennas used for cellular and PCS [personal communications services] transmissions result in exposure levels on the ground that are typically thousands of times below safety limits.” Any wireless technologies deployed in the County are required to meet the FCC’s radio frequency (RF) emissions standards. 

The FCC provides information about the safety of RF emissions from wireless telecommunications facilities on its website www.fcc.gov (specifically, www.fcc.gov/engineering-technology/electromagneticcompatibility-division/radio-frequency-safety/faq/rf-safety). You can contact the FCC directly if you have concerns about RF emission standards or the safety of new wireless networks. 

Federal Communications Commission: 1-888-225-5322 

Show All Answers

1. Why the need for more wireless antennas?
2. What is a small cell wireless facility?
3. Are small cells safe?
4. What are the health ramifications of 5G technology?
5. Where can small cell antennas be installed?
6. When will we get 5G in Humboldt County?
7. Can residents have a say in the placement of wireless antennas?
8. Can the County deny a wireless facility on the basis of aesthetics?
9. Why does the proposed ordinance streamline the review process for some types of facilities?