Wireless company asks to put its pole on county property

By Darla Higgins

Jimplecute Staff Writer

A firm that provides wireless cell-phone connectivity has asked the Marion County Commissioners Court to let it put a pole on a piece of right-of-way property owned by the county.

At its Monday meeting, the court heard from Kyle Edge, an em­ployee of Mobilitie Intelligent Infrastructure. He first explained what his company does and why the pole, which is 120 feet tall, is needed.

“Most of what you see out there today is meant for voice,” Edge said. “Nobody in a million years would have thought that iPhones and what have you would be as big as they are today.

“The objective of using the right-of-way is to use pre-existing electric lines and pre-existing fiber lines,” he said, adding that Mobilitie would be partnering with Sprint at that particular loca­tion, which is on Big Cypress Road.

County Judge Lex A. Jones asked Edge to explain more about how fiber optics works.

“Basically, we have an invisible highway above us and below us,” he said, adding that the fiber part of it is below. “When you make a call or send an email, the signal goes above our heads and travels to the location it’s looking for. One fiber network is all fiber networks; they are all connected. Getting that data into the fibers is the goal. The objective is to strengthen and shorten the distance.”

The company would pay the county $500 per year for each pole placed on public property.

Commissioner C.W. Treadwell, noting that such poles are nor­mally on private property, asked who might be affected by the possible arrangement with the county.

“Basically, you’re taking money away from private citizens,” he said.

“One citizen,” Edge replied, repeating…

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