AT&T plans for 5G in Cleveland put on hold, citing city’s ‘lack of urgency’

(Source: WAFF)
Updated: Feb. 11, 2019 at 4:38 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - In a letter to Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, AT&T’s regional president stated plans to upgrade the city’s telecommunications are being put on hold. The company cites a lack of urgency from Mayor Jackson’s administration.

In the letter, AT&T Great Lakes States President Adam Grzybicki stated he wrote the mayor nearly 5 months ago to share “concerns regarding a slowdown."

Grzybicki stated AT&T Ohio’s legal team also reached out to Mayor Jackson’s legal team regarding concerns in fiber permits.

The letter goes on to state that fiber permits have yet to receive approval and the company has “reached a critical delay in our ability to make significant investments in Cleveland.”

The city became interested in 5G telecommunications projects during a winter blockchain conference.

Grzybicki, in the letter, stated Mayor Jackson noted “Cleveland is a successful city in many ways for our innovation and for meeting and overcoming challenges.”

The regional president went on to state that he is “hopeful the our team and yours can sit around a table very soon and take action on our pending small cell attachments agreement and begin negotiating a master attachments agreement for Cleveland Public Power poles.”

During an emergency meeting regarding the unrelated concerns of airport changes, Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley told Cleveland 19 News he saw a copy of the letter sent in August and the one AT&T sent to the mayor on Monday, Feb. 8.

Kelley stated permits are not a function of the council and that the mayor’s office is responsible for actions taken regarding fiber permits.

“I don’t know enough about why this has taken the time that it has, so I’m not sure. That’s certainly what AT&T is alleging, but I don’t know enough of the facts about it," Kelley stated. He added, “I just hope it resolves and all parties are happy with the result of that, but it’s something between the vendor and the administration that this gets resolved.”

Grzybicki stated he hopes to work with the city on strengthening neighborhoods and building infrastructure with 5G.

He stated, “But, currently, most of our investment plans are on hold, due to a lack of urgency from your administration.”

Mayor Jackson’s office would not comment on the letter.

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