Fauquier County Pursues Broadband Tower Locations: Let Us Know What You Think

This text was taken from an email alert sent out on June 13, 2018:

Dear Supporter,

As you might be aware, Fauquier County has been trying to figure out ways to improve broadband service county-wide.

After the planned partnership with Freedom Telecom Services (FTS) Inc. to build a more robust fiber optic network in Fauquier fell through, the County decided to pursue ‘Plan B’ which would provide enhanced broadband by incentivizing tower construction in underserved parts of the County.

Since deciding to go forward with this alternative, the Board of Supervisors has approved agreements with Calvert Crossland LLC and Milestone Development Inc. The Calvert Crossland LLC. agreement provides cash incentives for tower construction in six of seven possible “search ring areas” (orange circles on map). The Milestone Development Inc. agreement promotes access to County owned property for tower construction (black parcels on map).

The cash incentives are modest; $30,000 per tower per year for five years or until the tower is occupied by one of the following carriers: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, or Sprint. The PATH Foundation will be funding $90,000 per year through their Broadband Capital Improvement Program, covering half of the cost to the County if six towers are built.

As this is an important local land use decision, we want to hear what our supporters and members think about the county’s approach. Please take a moment to look at the map and fill out our ten question survey >>

Some Background

You can find more information on what exactly is being proposed in the recent coverage in FauquierNow.

In general, broadband/cellular tower construction in Fauquier can range from 80 ft to 199 ft (companies usually don’t go taller than 199 ft to avoid having to meet more stringent FAA regulations).

The towers can be designed in a variety of ways including lattice, monopole, or stealth designs such as silos, evergreen trees, and painted monopoles that blend into the sky or forest backdrop. Stealth designs cost more for the applicant, have limited space for additional tenants, and are often limited by the height they can be constructed while still maintaining their stealth appearance. Topography and forested areas can be used effectively to conceal large towers but sites have to be carefully evaluated.

A Few Examples of Different Tower Designs:

I look forward to hearing your feedback about the County’s broadband proposal through our short survey >>


Julie Bolthouse
Fauquier Field Representative
The Piedmont Environmental Council