Wheaton, Illinois is the latest community to get angered over the size of the AT&T VRAD cabinets the company plunks down on residential streets in order to deploy U-Verse services. The Wheaton City Council has delayed approving U-Verse expansion in the area
(via Fierce Wireless
) until council members can further study the impact the boxes will have on local homeowners. While AT&T has reduced the size of the cabinets over the years, they haven't apparently reduced them enough for some peoples' liking:
"My concern again continues to be the ability of AT&T to park one of these boxes in somebody's front yard. I'm particularly sensitive to that with respect to a corner lot, so I want to understand how this works," said North District Councilman Phil Suess. "Forget the zoning. You're basically parking one of these boxes in someone's front yard, and I don't think we should be doing that."
Over the years several communities have gotten upset
about the AT&T VRAD cabinets required to deliver the company's U-Verse FTTN/VDSL service. In some areas, complaints involved anger of AT&T ignoring easement rights or childhood traffic dangers, while in other markets the complaints have been aesthetic or property-value driven. In San Francisco, community opposition to installing 725 six-foot-tall utility cabinets was so heated, AT&T had to shelve expansion plans until just recently.
Elsewhere in Illinois, groups like Stop The Box
fought to have a say in VRAD placement, with AT&T finally going so far as to agree to pay $1,500-$2000 for landscaping surrounding each box
. It should be noted that AT&T hasn't run into problems of this type in the vast majority of neighborhoods they've installed U-Verse in. The problem has become less frequent as AT&T's expansion of U-Verse has effectively ended
in most areas.