Companies often refuse to build new cell towers in rural areas because the cost to build would be more than what could be recovered in profit from sparse local customers. But putting cellular transmission in churches could offer a solution. However, some local residents and churchgoers are opposed, claiming radiation risks from cellular transmitters. The wireless industry says this assertion is false, citing Federal Communications Commission studies that have found no evidence to link cancer and wireless transmission.
Despite the opposition, basing cellular transmitters atop churches is gaining support. California Watch, an investigative reporting group, found that no one keeps track of how many churches have cell transmitters, but some congregations in California actively market themselves. The Canyon Creek Presbyterian Church in San Ramon struck a deal with T-Mobile six years ago when it was building a new church because the deal would give the church about $25,000 to $30,000 a year in profit. The Times reports that lease deals with cell companies can bring a church about $4,000 a month. (Read more)