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CARMEL, Ind. — The latest cellphone technology is called 5G which can be up to 100 times faster than 4G.

But is it safe?

Carmel is the first community in central Indiana to take up the issue. Unlike tall traditional cellphone towers, 5G technology goes right on top of a utility pole like the one at 64th Street and Coffman Road.

The signal strength is much weaker so many more are needed. One provider estimates it will need 300,000 of them nationwide, compared to the 220,000 current cell phone towers.

The problem for Carmel city leaders like Councilman Ron Carter is, “we cannot regulate where they are placed. We cannot tell one of those companies where it would be appropriate.”

As well as how close they are built to houses and bedrooms. It’s a technology that comes with a radiation warning on the pole itself.

“No, I really don’t think enough research has been done,” said Carter.

But tech companies point to many other studies and research, even in places like the American Cancer Society, which state there is a minimal chance for harm.

In a sharply divided 4-3 vote this week, the Carmel city council passed a resolution co-sponsored by Carter asking the state and the federal government to stop all 5G until the matter is settled.

That’s why City Councilman Jeff Worrell voted no.

“I don’t know if it will ever be settled,” said Worrell.

Worrell also worries since the city has no power to regulate locations of 5G nodes, the resolution will damage relationships with cellphone providers and have a chilling effect on future business opportunities.

“We are firing the shot and it’s a worthless shot to take. It seemed to be symbolic because we have no authority, no ability,” said Worrell. “Do we really want to be the community that says no 5G in Carmel? I’m not prepared to say that yet.”

But the city councilmen do agree on two things. First, they wish state lawmakers didn’t take authority from them. Second, they also agree on the 5G itself.

“Right now, fairly neutral,” said Carter.

“I’m not for or against 5G technology,” Worrell adds.

Carter says a council committee found one 5G node in Indianapolis to be 10 feet away from a bedroom. He said that maybe just fine, but maybe 10 boxes are not. He just doesn’t know, which is why he wants lawmakers to step in.

News 8 tried to find out how many 5G boxes are in Carmel but was unable to get an answer from the city engineer’s office on Thursday afternoon.

(PHOTO: picture alliance/Getty Images)