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New Tower Means More Cell Phone Usage

UC Blue Ash is installing a new cell phone tower within the next couple of years

By Ben Rigney, Activist Staff
On October 13, 2015

As many UCBA students know, the cell phone service on campus is sub-par at best. I for one know about this ridiculousness. When I am on campus, I can’t even send a text. That could be because of my Verizon Wireless service or it could be because of the limited number of cell phone towers in the area. All of that frustration is about to change. The UCBA community is welcoming the arrival of a new cell phone tower coming in late 2016 or 2017.

Robert Knarr is in charge of the facilities management on campus so he has a large role in the development. The construction dates are currently unknown because of how early they are in development. “UC recently released a Request for Proposal (RFP) notification, and proposals were just received a week or so ago. Proposals will be reviewed and scored by an internal UC committee with hopes of selecting a company for this effort,” commented Knarr about the project.

The new towers will be quite expensive. The exact specifics are not yet known, but UCBA is attempting to share the coasts with potential companies. Knarr discussed the installation process, saying, “The planned arrangement is for UCBA to enter into a revenue sharing relationship with a wireless broadband infrastructure company that will install, manage, and maintain the cell tower. The final agreement would include provisions for UCBA to earn monthly revenue from the tower, with no initial, nor long-term, capital investment by UCBA.”

The current idea is to put the new tower between Walters Hall and Cooper Road.

With the arrival of the new tower, one asks the question where they will be placed. Knarr answered that question as well. “The current thought is to locate this potential new tower in the green space between Walters Hall and Cooper Road on the north side of campus,” he said. Knarr went on to add “with the current planned location within the green space between Walters Hall and Cooper Road on the north side of campus, construction will be noticeable, but it should not involve any significant disruption to UCBA students, faculty, or staff.”

Since the service is so poor it may be surprising that new towers are just know being introduced. The reason is that, previously, zoning restrictions related to the Blue Ash Airport limited tower installation. Now the airport is a park so these zoning restrictions are no more. “The former Blue Ash Airport location included normal airfield restrictions on structure height and signal interference, both of which precluded the construction of nearby cell towers for several years. With the recent Blue Ash Airport conversion to a new park, there has been an obvious, increased interest for installing new towers within the city,” Knarr continued, “With an enrollment of over 5,000 students and approximately 500 faculty and staff at our college, it’s important for safety and emergency communication needs that we have strong cell coverage/capacity.”

So in the coming months if you see construction on campus, do not be alarmed. Your cell phone service is just being greatly improved in the coming years.

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