We all have our compulsive behaviors. Maybe its overhand vs. underhand on installation of the toilet paper rolls. Or how the items sit on your coffee table. You go a little crazy when someone else messes with your stuff, don’t you?
Unless you subscribe to general apathy, I’m guessing you like to have a little control over what goes where on your property or in your residence. You want to know what goes where and the ability to at least factor in the decision, especially when your wife insists the mini fridge for beer can no longer be used as an end table in the living room.
I didn’t win that argument but at least I got to say a few words before being completely overruled. Have you noticed the spools of cable being installed along Running Horse Road in Platte City and other areas of north-central Platte County? Yeah, well no one asked if that was OK. They just told officials they were coming through the area.
The options to stop them? Non-existent. The only choice? Deal with it.
After a couple of citizens inquired about the cable lines, I decided to do some asking. Of course, Platte City city administrator DJ Gehrt received a visit, much to his dismay knowing that I was about to sidetrack his afternoon.
While the original hope appeared to be the Google Fiber was coming to Platte City (Squeeee!), I had a feeling that was not the case. I attend most city meetings and felt like that would have come back up. I was right, and your hopes of high speed internet and thousands of times the speed of your old dial-up connection will have to wait (Heavy sigh).
The cables are telecommunication lines, but they are not for you. Who are they for? Well, that’s a little more difficult to answer.
According to Gehrt, the company is installing long-distance data transmission lines connecting Nebraska to Texas or something like that.
Not really important.
What is important? That the companies don’t have to tell the city thanks to a fairly new law in Missouri that grants telecommunications the ability to take right of way without permission.
If discussions do start, the city can offer suggestions, but the telecom industry doesn’t have any obligation to comply. And this extends beyond just cables.
Gehrt also said that Sprint plans some upgrades to infrastructure in the area. Initial conversations indicated plans to install boxes on existing KCP&L poles in the city — where available.
Pay attention to those last two words. Very important here.
Gehrt said that where no poles are available, Sprint might want to install some modest, hard-to-notice 2-foot wide metal poles. That are 50 feet tall.
One of those is proposed at Myers Drive and Myers Terrace, just off Highway 92 and smack in the middle of Platte City. Officials don’t want more poles in Platte City and plan to advise Sprint of as much, encouraging them to use existing poles but not to make any major installations.
No telling how that might work out.
We live in a digital age where connectivity becomes increasingly important. Cell phones and wireless internet are desired amenities, but in the quest to make those services better, faster and stronger, there might be a few unintended consequences.
Most in the area would welcome Google Fiber, but I wonder how citizens will react knowing that other companies can pass right through town without permission.
Eventually, the dirt will go back down and the wires will be forgotten, but boy, does it change the perception when you know the disturbance wasn’t agreed upon and you don’t know when the next company will decide to come in and rearrange your stuff.
Ross Martin is publisher of The Citizen. He may be reached via email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @Citizen_Ross.