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 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
In San Francisco, community opposition to installing 725 six-foot-tall utility cabinets was so heated, AT&T ultimately backed off of a significant expansion. AT&T recently decided to try again, and in July of last year the city voted to approve the installation of 726 U-Verse cabinets. Citizen groups however, annoyed by the the ugly boxes, sued to stop the installation. According to the San Francisco Business Times
, a judge has rejected local residents objections to the installations, which will now move forward.
"We are pleased with the decision by the San Francisco Superior Court affirming the decision by the Board of Supervisors to support AT&T's investment in our community," says AT&T. "The precedent set by this is really scary," says Milo Hanke of the group San Francisco Beautiful. "This opens up our sidewalks. It’s a bonanza for private utilities," Hanke said.