“The initial lease offered a property owner is usually quite one-sided in favor of the wireless company,” says an essay posted on the website of the law firm.
Such leases can significantly affect a church for decades such as restricting how the church uses its property, says John Pestle, partner in charge of the firm’s communication law practice. Alterations may be “more difficult, more expensive or even impossible,” it adds.
Churches should make sure they are not exposed to liability or restricted in its main operations, it also says. Restrictions should be put on the size of the antennas, it adds since “the fine print often provides that the wireless company can put up any kind of broadcasting antenna it wants.”
The new 4G and 5G cellphone antennas work over much shorter distances than earlier antennas. Hundreds of thousands of new transmitting stations will be needed and churches are a prime target of AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon and the other telecoms. Church steeples have been sought as stations since the early 1990s, said California Watch, which merged with revealnews.org.
There are 350,000 religious facilities in the U.S.—314,000 Protestant and Christian; 24,000 Catholic, and 12,000 mosques, temples and non-Christian.
DCG, which helps churches to market their spires to telecoms, dismisses EMF health claims in two sentences midway through a 1,073-word release. “Many people still fear that cellular towers pose a health hazard because the equipment emits levels of radiation. Although there’s little evidence to support claims that cellular towers are dangerous, it is a common fear.
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