Published September 13 2023
The City of Bellevue reached an important milestone Tuesday as it marked the expansion of wireless connectivity in Bellevue with a ribbon-cutting attended by members of the City Council and community partners.
Small wireless communication facilities provide wireless capacity and consistent high-quality voice and data cell service in urban areas where demand can be much higher. SWFs have a smaller footprint than traditional cell towers and are typically installed on city street light poles.
“As a “smart city,” our goal is to maximize wireless technology improvements, and SWFs are an essential strategy in advancing our commitment to connectivity for people who live, work and visit Bellevue,” said Mayor Lynne Robinson.
The Bellevue Chamber collaborated to inform streamlining strategies for permitting processes and develop working relationships to advance the deployment of SWFs downtown.
"We are thrilled to be celebrating this advancement together," said Bellevue Chamber Vice President of Government Affairs Jodie Alberts. “This light pole SWF is much more than a symbol of Bellevue moving forward technologically. It’s also a symbol of what business and government can accomplish when they work together.”
The Bellevue Transportation Department partnered with key telecommunication carriers and their partners, including Verizon, Extenet, Crown Castle and AT&T. Thus far, four SWFs have been completed, three are permitted for construction, 15 are in various stages of permit review and over 50 poles are reserved for preliminary studies.
In January 2019, the City Council adopted Ordinance 6454 to regulate the deployment of SWFs in the public right of way consistent with Federal Communications Commission requirements, establish design criteria and expedite the approval process. In partnership with the Bellevue Chamber and service carriers, the city is seeking additional code amendments later this month that would apply learnings from deployments of this wireless technology to the city code.