Thursday, September 24, 2015

Orange Is The New...


Progress marches on and some folks just don't want to get with the program. No this isn't about an outdated mode of human powered transportation this is about wireless connectivity of nearly everything. Phones, cars, even utility meters are getting their cellular on.

So what, you say? Who cares? Well apparently our Smart City Council does, that's who. In order to make this magical interweb of everything actually work you need to roll out a whole lot of cellular infrastructure. In this case microcells blessing many a phone pole around the town. Of course these microcells are pretty useless unless they are somehow connected to the interweb, which is done with some rather straightforward technology. It is called a wire, or if you want to get your geek on call it a "cable."

And here is where Council and the problem comes in. The Feds have regulations that not only allow cell phone companies to install these bad boys, they prevent local yokels from restricting them and even have shall issue deadlines even for those installs subject to some form of permitting. Once this roadblock was clearly presented to Council by the City Attorney, the follow on question was "Can we regulate the color of the cable?" Spoiler alert: the answer is "NO!" Now this might seem the height of silliness but we will refer you to a Council proposition to force fast food joints to install yellow jacket honey pots at each drive-thru for a deeper understanding of silliness.

We were saved from a rather long and contentious debate of acceptable colour palettes for pole-climbing cables (the orange things are actually conduits--the cables inside are black). Opinions would  fly fast and furious, City Attorney would have to restore order and someone would likely demand a list of Pantone numbers.

Or maybe not. This is Dunwoody. The cable should be beige.