The Office of Technology and Innovation (OTI) is the city agency proposing the installation of nine 32-foot tall 5G Monopole Towers (collectively, “towers”) in Carnegie Hill. Illuminated, active video screen kiosks attached to some, in the commercial zone, will generate ad revenue and house interactive tablets to provide free internet, device charging, city services, and nationwide calling via speakerphone.
Carnegie Hill comprises just under 15% of the Upper East Side, but 50% of the towers slated for installation on the Upper East Side are in Carnegie Hill; amounting to an inequitable distribution of the towers.
OTI states this installation plan will be minimally invasive and meant to bridge the digital divide in New York City. This makes no sense. Carnegie Hill is oversaturated with broadband and Wi-Fi capacity at the residential and institutional levels, and in the area's public and passive green spaces. There is no significant gap in broadband or Wi-Fi service in Carnegie Hill, where mobile penetration is well over 100%.
THESE TOWERS ARE NOT NEEDED IN CARNEGIE HILL.
Don't Sell Our Streets to 5G Towers
5G Tower Locations
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Of the 90 planned towers going up, 20 are being placed in historic districts. Only 13 are going up in designated Equity Community Districts despite OTI's commitment to eliminating broadband deserts by placing 90% of towers in underserved areas of the city.
Map data sourced from NYC Open Data and Patch.com
Concerns on 5G Rollout
There is no debate that New York City’s technology infrastructure must be enhanced and advanced. 5G
has the potential to revolutionize many industries and can help to drive economic growth and innovation.
Moreover, the buildout of 5G infrastructure can help bridge the digital divide by providing internet
accessibility to thousands of underserved New Yorkers. New York City must be a leader in bringing
equitable 5G access to the public.
However, many New Yorkers have reported serious concerns about the site selection, outreach, and
community engagement process. People have reported not adequately being informed about the
placement of 5G towers in their neighborhoods, and many have questioned specific site selections and the
fundamental need for the new towers taking up vital public space. Better communication and more
education must be pursued.
Additionally, the design of the 5G towers and infrastructure is concerning. These structures create
considerable bulk on sidewalks and can negatively impact the visual appeal or even historic character of
our neighborhoods. It is important that the city works with service providers to ensure that the placement
and design of 5G infrastructure is carefully considered and sensitive to the aesthetic, historic, and public
space concerns of the community.
The City must slow the expansion of 5G infrastructure in residential areas and focus on commercial
corridors until the recommendations below are fully explored:
Review the City’s overall 5G infrastructure programs and develop a strategy that prioritizes
installation at sites using existing public infrastructure, such as streetlights and traffic signals, and
identify City-owned property, including bus stops, that can be modified or reinforced to become
eligible for 5G siting. This could help minimize the amount of public space on our sidewalks
being taken by this needed infrastructure and ensure there is ample space for people on our
All relevant agencies must work together to comprehensively review all city infrastructure to
ensure the full utilization of public property, furniture and infrastructure for the advancement or
our city’s economy, including for electrification, sustainability, and instillation of 5G
A public education campaign must be created to inform the public of the benefits and safety of
5G, including how it directly impacts their daily lives.
The process must be made transparent and accountable. All public notifications and
presentations must include which service providers utilize each 5G tower. Existing franchise
agreements for wireless and internet service should be amended to ensure better transparency.
Alternative designs should be identified that can reduce the visual impact and public space
needed for future installations.
Work with local artists, non-profits and community-based organizations to paint and otherwise
improve the overall aesthetics and reduce the visual impact of 5G towers so they contribute
positively and contextually to our public spaces.
Every neighborhood in Manhattan is unique and different, but, with care and sensitivity, the City can
embrace the opportunities that LinkNYC and other 5G infrastructure can bring while also balancing the
needs of each community.
Find letter of support for our opposition to 5G towers from community organizations and elected officials below.
5G Tower Mockups
Opposition to 5G Towers in the News
January 21, 2023
Manhattan community boards, Borough President Levine call on city to slow 5G rollout
December 5, 2022
Huge 5G Poles May Come To 18 Upper East Side Blocks, City Says
December 15, 2022
Towering Upper East Side 5G Poles Shot Down By Community Board
Contact your elected officials!
Don't want 5G towers in your neighborhood? Contact your local elected officials and let them know what you think.
Mayor Eric Adams
Contact here: https://www.nyc.gov/office-of-the-mayor/mayor-contact.page
Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine
Phone number: 212-669-8300
District 28 State Senator Liz Kruger
Phone number: 212-490-9535
District 73 Assemblymember Alex Borres
Phone number: 212-605-0937
District 75 Assemblymember Rebecca Seawright
Phone number: 212-288-4607
District 4 City Council Representative Keith Powers
Phone number: 212-818-0580
District 5 City Council Representative Julie Menin