The Pros & Cons of Cell Towers

By Todd Bowerman

In an effort to provide wide-ranging and reliable networks to subscribers, cell phone companies need to place as many towers as possible. This has led them to speak with property owners, business owners and local schools and universities about the prospects of building cell towers on their lands. If you are considering a cell tower proposition but are not sure which way to go, you should be aware that towers could bring some benefits, but also some potential problems.

Better Service

The immediate benefit of allowing a cell tower to be built in your area is improved cell phone service. While this will only be noticeable for those who subscribe to that particular cell provider, better service can make conversations less frustrating and generally improve the way in which your town does business. It can also make your area safer for individuals caught in emergencies, such as car accidents or home invasions, as they will have a better chance of reaching help via their cell phones.

Financial Benefits

Most cell phone companies are willing to pay a healthy premium to anyone that allows a tower on her property. This can result in a nice boost to income for a small business, family or school. Additionally, dedicating an area of land for a cell tower results in long-term financial benefits, as you will effectively have a permanent tenant who always has the means to pay the rent. Any financial agreement between yourself and a phone company should be looked at by an experienced attorney.

Visual Pollution

If you live in a scenic small town or your university campus is known for its beautiful aesthetic, a cell phone tower may not be the best option. Towers are tall, functional structures that do not provide much visual value to the areas that surrounds them. Many people consider cell towers an eyesore and fight the installation of new towers simply because they do not want to look at them. There are methods available for building concealed towers, but in most cases they are left exposed.

Health Risks

There is significant concern over the long-term health risks of living near a cell tower. Some studies have shown that constant exposure to the energy emitted by these towers can be linked to higher rates of cancer and birth defects, though opinions vary throughout the medical community on whether it is the cell tower at fault. Either way, the potential for health problems should be considered by anyone deciding whether to place a cell tower on his land.