This is a posting of my September 19, 2013 email update
On Sept. 5th, I sat in on a meeting with Todd Gardner (the internet service provider), Township Supervisor John Kingsley and the Zoning Administrator Bruce Pindzia. Todd presented a study showing how 3 towers, one in our neighborhood plus 2 more, could provide internet to almost the entire township. Mr. Kingsley received this study positively. He indicated he would like to see a township wide solution.
There was some disagreement on what zoning approval may be required. Township ordinances do not allow for towers on residential or agricultural land. Todd’s position was that Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs) operate under the FCC’s Over The Air Reception Device (OTARD) rule to put up towers and provide internet to unserved areas. Mr. Kingsley’s interpretation was that OTARD allows a person to put up a tower to receive internet, but does not allow a provider to serve others off of that tower. According to Mr. Kingsley, using the tower to service others would be a change of use and require a variance. Although Todd disagreed with that interpretation, he would rather work with the township than against them.
Mr. Kingsley has since recommended Todd apply for special conditional zoning or they change the township ordinance to allow for such towers. The special zoning would likely be quicker than changing the ordinance. It is not clear how long it would take, though. In any case, the project has already been delayed 6 weeks during these discussions with the township. I am not certain how Todd and the Township will proceed, but I feel confident that service will be rolled out here and possibly township wide. I also know everyone is eager to get broadband and frustrated with the delays.
This is a brief summary of events. There are a many other aspects and considerations that I couldn’t concisely and clearly explain in one email. Let me know if you have any comments, questions or ideas. I will let you know when I have more information.