By Focus Staff

The Farragut Planning Commission unanimously denied by a vote of 8 to 0 an application from MCI/Metro to expand fiber optic cable for residential 5G cell towers in resident’s front yards. You can see Thursday’s meeting here on YouTube

The MCI/Verizon representative made many excuses on why fiber optic subcontractor MasTec has hit so many water, sewer, and gas lines in laying the fiber optic cable in residential Farragut neighborhoods. He blamed outdated drawings and mistakes from utilities. Residents in Farragut have filed many complaints to the Farragut mayor and aldermen for the shoddy work done by MasTec. The Town of Farragut previously stopped MasTec from working on weekends after another water line was hit on a Friday night in Woodland Trace.

The MCI/Verizon representative also said they were looking at pausing fiber installation in residential areas in Farragut. Apparently the Farragut 5G resolution and the state and national press it has gotten may have caused a change of mind at MCI/Verizon.

Another issue the planning commission noted is the clandestine way that MCI/Verizon applies for Farragut permits to lay fiber optic. The planning commission was confused as to who the applicant really was. They thought the representative on the Zoom meeting was from fiber optic subcontractor MasTec. It turned the applicant was MCI/Metro but the representative identified himself being from MCI/Verizon. The planning commission made it clear this confusion had to end.

MCI/Verizon and MasTec were sharply criticized on many issues by the planning commission. The mayor noted that with as many problems as MasTec has had, they should have had a representative at the meeting. MasTec was not present at the meeting.

Mayor Williams said a mailbox was knocked down. A fireplug run over. Several water lines were hit. Sewer lines were hit. Gas lines were hit. Planning Commission Vice Chairman St. Clair said the performance from MasTec to date was miserable.

MCI/Verizon is expected to file a new request next month.