Albemarle County Board of Supervisors Approves Cell Tower


Several Albemarle County schools will be benefiting from the construction of a new cell tower.

Wednesday, September 7, the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors voted in favor of installing a 125 foot pole which will provide broadband internet to more than 3,000 students.

Milestone Communications says with the new cell towers, students will have free in-school Wi-Fi in addition to at-home, managed, secured internet.

More than 600 students at Greer Elementary School and another 600 at Jack Jouett Middle School will have access to the wireless internet. Almost 2,000 students at Albemarle High School will also be able to access the internet.

During Wednesday night’s public comment period, some parents said the tower is a great way to fill the coverage gap. Others are concerned about the aesthetics and safety of the students, teachers, and neighborhood.

“There are over 3,000 lives – students and teachers – that will be put in the field of this radiation for 8 to10 hours a day, five days a week, for about 40 days a year. The cumulative radiation to these people will be huge,” one parent said.

“When you have disadvantaged students in the area, those are the ones that will most benefit from this free wireless service –  that may not have the broadband capabilities at home they need,” another parent said.

Milestone Communications would pay $20,000 at the time of construction and $5,000 for each wireless carrier.

The communications firm would also pay 40 percent of its gross revenues for leasing the space.

There is currently no word on when construction will start.

Article written by NBC29