San Francisco Residents Still Fighting AT&T U-Verse Cabinets
AT&T Promises to Beautify, Reduce VRAD Cabinet Total
Over the years a significant number of 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 some markets.
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 has been engaged in a new round of negotiations with the city. Unlike last time -- AT&T decided to engage local community members before launching their efforts. According to the San Francisco Chronicle
, opponents have been pushing for an environmental impact study that could delay the expansion. AT&T's promising locals they'll "green" many of the boxes, and try to reduce their number:
AT&T's Kasselman did not have specific details of the proposal, but it could involve reducing the number of boxes. "We don't know the numbers yet," he said. Undergrounding is probably not feasible, given the amount of space required, he said, but, "where private property is available, we'll use it." In terms of aesthetics, he said, "we'll look to green them, plant trees and shrubbery around them and stealth them." (i.e, fence them off, or otherwise hide them, where possible.) Some of the existing boxes have already been "greened."
According to AT&T, about 1 million homes are currently able to get U-verse in the nine-county Bay Area.