Another angle-

Six 140-foot monopoles have been proposed in northwestern Loudoun County
to increase wireless Internet and cellular access in rural Loudoun.

Low population density in the west fails to entice traditional cable and
DSL providers, leaving many residents without hi-speed Internet service
and with spotty cell service.

The company that filed the application with the county, Falls
Church-based Community Wireless Structures, wants to build the monopoles
to co-locate various wireless companies' antennas - lowering providers'
initial investment and bringing wider coverage and more options for

But even CWS officials admit that getting rural Loudounites to support
six 140-foot poles will take a special effort.

Connecting in Loudoun

Broadband technology, loosely defined, is an Internet connection that
processes data at 200 kilobyte/sec and faster. Fiber-optic cable is the
fastest way to receive broadband now.

Final approval of the structures rests with the Board of Supervisors,
and two public hearings must be held - in front of the Planning
Commission as well as the board. The dates have not been set, but CWS
hopes for mid-year hearings.

In anticipation of opposition, the company has launched a Web site with
maps of the proposed sites and detailed information on the benefits of

"I don't want to seem too glib or cavalier, but people fight and fight
[monopoles] and after they're built, people stop seeing them," said Bob
Gordon, CWS's attorney and an investor in the company.

The current Board of Supervisors has made it a priority to expand
broadband coverage in order to attract businesses, promote teleworking
and improve emergency communications.

Scott Bashore, the newly hired head of Loudoun County's Broadband
Services department, has determined that wireless Internet remains the
most feasible way to expand broadband in the county's west.

The debate now focuses on the delivery mode: a network of a few tall
towers - 140 feet - or many small towers - 60 to 70 feet, some of which
could be installed on existing structures, such as water towers and

Several companies, such as Loudoun Wireless and Roadstar, have been
providing wireless Internet service in western Loudoun for several

Marty Dougherty, founder and CEO of Roadstar, said his Leesburg-based
company already provides 2,000 homes in western Loudoun with wireless
broadband service. He said he has been consistently left out of the
current debate on county policy.

"We are being ignored, and I think the reason is -- the answers are not
easy and [county officials] want easy answers," Dougherty said. He said
there's no silver-bullet solution. Because of Loudoun's hills and dense
tree cover, he said, even the taller towers won't be able to deliver
wireless Internet to all residents.

"There is no way that radio waves can travel through the earth. Even the
Board of Supervisors can't change that," Dougherty said.

He supports a network of many different providers, with shorter poles to
customize wireless delivery to each western community.

Gordon disagrees. He said fewer taller towers would minimize the visual
impact and offer wider coverage to lure bigger providers to invest. He
also added that short towers aren't easy to get approved.

"Western Loudoun is littered with the graves of applications for short

For details on the location of Community Wireless Structures' six
proposed monopoles, go to .

Contact the reporter at [EMAIL PROTECTED]

CTimes Community Newspapers 2007

-----Original Message-----
Behalf Of Dawn DiPietro
Sent: Thursday, January 11, 2007 12:19 PM
To: WISPA General List
Subject: [WISPA] County Looks To Wireless For Western Connection

County Looks To Wireless For Western Connection

By Therese Howe
(Created: Thursday, January 11, 2007 8:08 AM EST)

| Text Size |     print | e-mail | comment (0)
Focus on the county's broadband debate has shifted westward, where 
residents will be asked to answer the question of whether they're 
willing to trade their views for high-speed Internet service.

Almost a year after supervisors scrapped a proposal to build a $320 
million fiber-optic network that would serve the entire county, the 
county is now reframing the broadband access debate to focus on wireless

as the potential answer to increase the availability of high-speed 
Internet service, particularly in the west.

Anyone with a stake in the issue-from residents who have been unable to 
get broadband to companies offering to build towers from which wireless 
service could be provided, to the county's current wireless providers-is

invited to provide input Jan. 23 when the board of supervisors' Economic

Development Committee is scheduled to take up the topic.

At that meeting, county Broadband Services Manager Scott Bashore will 
provide a recap of the county's broadband efforts, leading up to why 
"wireless makes the most sense for western Loudoun," said Supervisor 
Lori Waters (R-Broad Run), who chairs the committee.

The county has set a goal of expanding broadband availability in the 
county to 90 percent from its current 86 percent, according to Bashore, 
who adds that the service is primarily offered in the east, where the 
majority of the county's population resides.

Bashore also is working on updating the county's Strategic Land Use Plan

for Telecommunications Facilities, which was last changed in 2002.

"The original intent was for it to be good for about five years, so 
we're on track with updating it," Bashore said, adding that in the past 
four years, the market has changed with new towers being built and fewer

national telecommunications carriers offering service.

Part of the impetus behind the county's efforts has been the upswing in 
the number of applications for towers and monopoles to provide cellular 
and high-speed Internet services.

"I thought it was important to get ahead of the game before dealing with

these applications for individual monopoles. We need to take a look at 
the big picture ... and know where it fits in the plan rather than 
piecemeal," Waters said.

Among the proposals are two submitted by Community Wireless Structures, 
a Falls Church company that builds 100- to 200-foot structures from 
which carriers such as Verizon and Cingular can provide cellular and 
wireless Internet service.

One proposal, for a 120-foot pole south of Leesburg in Virts Corner, was

forwarded on Tuesday to the board of supervisors' Feb. 6 meeting for 
action. Supervisors hope to see the company accede to residents' 
requests for a pole disguised as a tree rather than the company's 
proposed graduated paint monopole.

The second proposal was filed Dec. 29 and is more expansive, calling for

six sites in northwestern Loudoun that have one or two poles of 100 or 
150 feet high. The company has leased locations at White's Ferry, 
Taylorstown, Round Hill, on Mountain Road on the east side of Short Hill

Mountain, at the intersection of Rts. 9 and 287, and on the east side of

Rt. 287 near Lovettsville.

"We know whenever solutions are proposed, they encounter local 
opposition," said Bob Gordon, an attorney who is a partner in the 
company, adding that the concern "all boils down to visual impact."

To provide information to the public and increase public awareness of 
the project, the company has created a Web site,, that solicits input from residents and offers 
information on upcoming public hearings. The company expects the first 
to occur in the spring before the county's planning commission, then in 
the summer before the board of supervisors.

"We want to hear from people who are still on dial-up and tired of it or

are very frustrated because when they're driving, the cell phone blinks 
out," Gordon said. "We feel there's a silent majority, but do they care 
enough to get to the public hearings?"

As the county gears up to handle the monopole applications and prepares 
to address the broader question of expanding broadband availability, 
current wireless providers such as Marty Dougherty's Roadstar and Steve 
Acups' were surprised to hear concerns about service in the


"I've been here three years, and whenever somebody identifies they want 
broadband, we get it to them," Acups said, adding that his coverage area

includes Lovettsville and Lucketts, across into Maryland. "I'd be 
surprised if there was a business case to be made because if there is, 
we've already moved into it."

Both he and Dougherty were surprised to hear about the latest monopole 
proposal, with Dougherty saying that although he could potentially use 
one of the towers, he couldn't use all of them because they would 
interfere with the service.

"I'm disappointed because it's not necessary and it really distracts 
from what we'd like to do with broadband, which is low-impact towers," 
Dougherty said. Instead, what may happen is that "cell phones will 
become our competitors; they usually don't deploy on anything less than 
high tower."

In response, Gordon of CWS indicated that the towers would be available 
for all companies to use, on a first come, first served basis, and that 
increased competition in the market from other carriers would benefit 
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