Connected City Communication Attachments
The City of Los Angeles has a resident population of approximately 4 million and as more communication devices (i.e. phones) are being used with the need for faster service, the demand and need to attach additional antennas and cabinets are required. These attachments are required Citywide and will strengthen the City’s cellular coverage for constituents, businesses, visitors and for use during emergency situation. Within the public-right-of-way there are few options where these communication systems can be installed; cabinets within the sidewalk area; the addition of a monopole (single pole installed just to hold up the antennas); and on a streetlight. Streetlights are the best option since they are at the optimum height, have an existing electrical infrastructure, and do not add an additional structure into the public right of way.

BSL CO-LOCATION PROGRAM

Due to several initial requests and the desire to allow attachments of antennas to streetlights in lieu of monopoles, in August of 2004 the Bureau requested and received Council approval that established policies, specification and procedures for the BSL Co-location program. This program facilitates this effort through the installation of communication devices/antennas to be attached to streetlight poles throughout the City. Telecommunication equipment exceeding size and weight parameters as specified on the Council Policy, will require the installation of larger, stronger foundations and when required, rewiring of circuits for higher capacity or conversion from High Voltage to Low Voltage. The Bureau coordinates with the telecommunication companies, provides designs, reviews and approves site and encroachment permits, and coordinates with City crews for any construction needed. All staff time for labor and material is paid for by the applicant with no impact to the City’s General Fund. Also, put in place was an annual fee per pole per year with incremental annual increases to ensure that any staff time utilized for the co-location program and any impact to the City’s street lighting system is paid for by the applicant. The fee includes; Admin costs, Inspection of the site annually, increased maintenance costs at these locations, and pole depreciation.

PROGRAM BENEFITS

  • The placement of these attachments will strengthen the City’s communication coverage.
  • The poles will provide more communication capacity during emergency situations when the airwaves tend to be inundated.
  • The pole and foundation will better resist high winds and earthquakes than typical streetlight poles.
  • The cabinet that would be within the sidewalk area may now be placed within the base of the pole for certain applications.

NUMBER OF ATTACHMENTS

co-location chart





TRANSITION OF THE POLES AND PROGRAM OVER TIME

The City of Los Angeles has 220,000 streetlights with over 400 different styles that include ornately historic and modern aesthetics. The existing BSL Co-location program limits the attachments of antennas to modern streetlights. The need to respond to communication attachment requests and the desire to limit their impacts to the street lighting system as well as the communities the Bureau has found ourselves in a delicate balance to meet the demand and evolve the aesthetics of the attachments as the program moves forwards. Below are a few of the designs and evolution of the pole designs. The ultimate goal is to reduce the visual impact of the attachments and if necessary require an integrated pole with all equipment placed internally.

Early and current designs