Bringing 5G to Montgomery County
To meet ever-increasing consumer demand for mobile data and to prepare for a new 5G network, T-Mobile sought to gain approval for the deployment of small cell technology in Montgomery County, MD commercial areas. Chesapeake was retained to facilitate the passage of local legislation governing how, when and where small cell facilities could be deployed, while avoiding unreasonable restrictions that could create serious barriers to rollout. A small but vocal group of activists strongly opposed any efforts to deploy 5G in the county.
The Chesapeake team worked with the Executive Branch to craft legislation that included strong protections for the County, while enabling the timely installation of small cell equipment to meet consumer demand. Knowing that the legislation required County Council approval, and given the complex nature of the technology, we facilitated numerous meetings with individual council members and staff throughout the process to establish a strong foundation of understanding, address areas of concern and counter inaccurate claims made by opponents. We also created collateral materials that provided clear and simple information about the importance of small cells in the areas of public safety and economic development.
Because young residents rely almost exclusively on mobile data, we worked closely with young professionals and millennials to testify at public hearings and send supportive emails to the County Council. To expand our reach, we made presentations to organizations throughout the county and collected signatures on a petition. We also created a coalition of community organizations to speak in support of small cells.
The County Council approved the legislation by unanimous vote, paving the way for 5G deployment in commercial areas throughout Montgomery County.