It’s hard to believe, but cell phone service in Silicon Valley is not up to world standards. This short primer explains why this is so, and offers solutions—solutions that will come about when Silicon Valley residents, our elected officials, and our local service providers are working as partners. Silicon Valley’s coverage issues can be fixed. in fact, we are already making significant progress: residents are coming to a better understanding about the facts, local governments are improving their processes, and the carriers are working hard to address local concerns. Joint Venture is committed to working with all parties until our region’s service levels are where they need to be. We are doing this by:
- Serving as an honest broker between the carriers, the public, and our public sector decision makers.
- Collecting survey information, mapping the dead zones throughout the Sili- con Valley region, bringing these to the attention of the relevant officials, and keeping the public informed of progress.
- Educating elected officials and other public decision-makers about the facts and myths regarding cell phone towers.
- Providing comment at public hearings, filing letters, and encouraging local residents to do the same.
- Articulating the compelling regional interest in having a fully functioning network, and the implications for our competitive standing if we don’t.
Ultimately, however, our progress will depend on everybody doing their part.
Specifically, we call on CITY AND COUNTY LEADERS to:
- Make certain your jurisdiction has a clear and sensible set of guidelines for permitting cell sites.
- Have permit applications reviewed by staff and planning commissions as a matter of routine, and save council and board review for those rare instances when the siting invokes deeper policy questions.
- Fast-track applications that meet all of the guidelines.
- Maintain a map of cell phone coverage gaps in your community and work with carriers to fill them in.