Verizon cell plan opposed by Lavallette residents

Residents from Lavallette attended a public forum concerning Verizon's intentions to deploy 5G network technology throughout the borough [FILE PHOTO]

LAVALLETTE — In the face of heavy local opposition, a Verizon Wireless representative told residents last week that the company plans to pursue plans to install 5G “small cell nodes” throughout the borough.

The residents, nearly all of whom appeared to oppose the project, filled the gym at Lavallette Elementary School on Jan. 24 for a public information session held by Verizon.

The plan, which also appears to lack support from Lavallette officials, is expected to come up at the next borough council meeting on Monday, Feb. 4, at 7 p.m.

At the Jan. 24 informational meeting, a Verizon team took questions on all aspects of the project, from the design to the radio waves to legal issues.

When asked what Verizon intends to do if the borough council votes down the proposal, company official Jonathan Bahmani stated, “We will continue to pursue deployment in 2019.”

The range of 5G is significantly lower than that of 3G and 4G, and the nodes would be placed within 50 feet of residents’ homes despite residents’ strong concerns for the technology’s health implications and visual aesthetics, among others.

Outbursts from upset residents repeatedly interrupted the Verizon presentation and, when one man called out for those in favor of the project to raise their hands, no hands went up. When he asked for those opposed, nearly every hand was in the air.

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