SCARBOROUGH — The town of Scarborough does not currently have ordinance language to regulate 5G facilities, but municipalities are limited in the types of restrictions they can impose on the technology.

5g technology allows for faster, more reliable internet service.

On Sept. 16, the Scarborough Ordinance Committee discussed a proposed 5G ordinance after about a year’s hiatus of the topic. The committee has received a review of the draft from telecommunications industry representatives and is close to completion.

Although some reasonable measures are allowed, state and federal legislation passed previously limits municipalities on the requirements they can impost on 5G facilities, Phil Saucier, municipal attorney, said

“We can still do certain things, and that’s what the goal of this ordinance has been which is to allow the town to have sufficient ordinance to be able to review these within the confines of the limitations that have been put on us,” he said.

5G additions to poles must be allowed at every public right-of-way, he said.

“What we’re allowed to do is adopt non-discriminatory conditions and permitting requirements,” he said. “So that’s a little different than saying they’re not allowed uses in certain areas so we can have some of the kinds of performance standards that are in this ordinance (draft).”

According to statute, health concern is not allowed as a reason for restriction on 5G, Saucier said.

Currently, many of these systems that are being added to utility poles are not going in front of town because there is no permitting required, said Town Manager Tom Hall.

“We’re largely unaware of when this work is happening,” he said. “You’ve got utility trucks up on the lines — we’re not aware of what they’re doing.”

Ken Johnson, committee member and councilor, said he would like the town to be able to track what is happening regarding utility poles.

A Massachusetts firm has contacted Scarborough to see about conducting a cell coverage survey, Hall said.

“I’m inclined to participate with them so we can start to get some data,” he said.

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