As our nation faces a nine percent unemployment rate, a $14 trillion debt and budget deficits in nearly every city and state, the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce strongly believes that any regulations that could hinder economic growth should be carefully considered before being enacted. The recent proposal by the city council of a six-month moratorium on the construction of all cell towers is one such economically harmful measures. This proposal has the potential to weaken the economy of Santa Fe by limiting the expansion of crucial wireless communication infrastructure.

As a city grows and develops, the need to communicate becomes of the utmost importance. Santa Fe, just as any other city, has many businesses that depend on reliable cellular coverage. With so many people moving to cellular-only phone service, they need  to know that they can contact businesses, family members or research information using mobile broadband connections. Similarly, business owners must be reachable by customers, suppliers and employees, keeping operations running smoothly and meeting customer needs.

Unreliable network coverage could damage our city by driving away potential companies who want to settle in Santa Fe. Many factors influence the decisions of business executives searching for their next corporate headquarters or regional location. In these situations, we cannot give companies a reason to decide Santa Fe does not provide the right business and technological climate for economic development.

With over a million tourists visiting Santa Fe each year, our businesses and community profit significantly from the revenue non-residents bring to the city. If cellular coverage becomes spotty for our visitors, we may see fewer people vacationing in our city. In this case, businesses will certainly suffer from lower sales and in turn, Santa Fe will reap less of the valuable taxes it relies on to operate. Tourists bring millions of dollars each year, and we would be hard pressed to find an alternative to this income. When communications networks are strong, businesses thrive, and everyone benefits.

Everyone in Santa Fe benefits from dependable cellular coverage, whether it’s for calling, texting or mobile Internet usage. We all need a means to reach other. From businesses to educators to families to emergency responders, cell phones have moved far beyond a luxury – they are an everyday necessity. Better coverage ensures a better quality of life for our citizens and our visitors.

As populations grow, our technological needs grow in tandem. The city council must recognize this and help Santa Fe move forward into the next era of technology. If we’re not moving forward, we’re getting left behind and business that would have chosen our city have moved on to technologically greener pastures.

Santa Fe cannot afford to enact policies that run directly counter to our economic interests. By passing a proposal to ban the construction of cell towers in Santa Fe, we will hurt our businesses, the tourist industry and our citizens.

Simon Brackley

President and CEO

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