On May 23rd, 2018 the Chapel Hill Town Council approved the Wireless Communications Initiative Master Plan and enacted the Wireless Communications Ordinance providing the key outcomes of the Wireless Communication Initiative. These documents will guide the permitting of wireless communications facilities in Chapel Hill, as new improvements are deployed by the communications industry, providing better service to the community.
An Open House was held on November 21st, 2017 at 6 pm, followed by a status report to the Chapel Hill Planning Commission at 7 pm. These events served to continue public engagement and to introduce Planning Commission members to the Wireless Communications Initiative. On September 21st, 2017, a Public Information Meeting was held at the Chapel Hill Public Library, to start the public conversation and information sharing about the WCI.
Who should attend the Wireless Communications Initiative (WCI) meetings?
Interested members of the public, elected officials, advisory board members, and industry, utility, and transportation representatives should attend the WCI meetings. The intent of this meeting is to involve stakeholders and obtain input that will inform the process of developing a Master Plan and Ordinance for small cell and wireless telecommunications facilities.
What is the Wireless Communications Initiative?
The Wireless Communications Initiative (WCI) is a Town of Chapel Hill project that will address anticipated changes in wireless technology and the corresponding need for regulatory improvements. Wireless communications and associated infrastructure is essential to our community as regards basic day-to-day services, educational, public safety, entertainment, and business needs. To that end, we are embarking on a public process that will produce a Wireless Master Plan and Ordinance, to provide Chapel Hill the necessary road map and guidelines to manage the Town’s wireless communications.
Why is the Wireless Communications Initiative important?
The newly introduced "4G-Gigabit" wireless technology utilizes smaller transmitting and receiving devices, working in conjunction with larger telecommunications towers, and improving wireless service, particularly to more dense, higher usage areas. The public process will help provide guidance in maximizing service and minimizing impacts of this next generation technology.
How could this project affect me?
It will likely increase the number of small cell wireless poles along public rights-of-way, require some additional large macro-cell towers, and improve wireless service and bandwidth for business and home users.