Alternative Solution: Utility Working with Verizon To Bring Service To Town

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After months of negotiations, the Peabody Municipal Light Plant (PMLP) provided Verizon Wireless with an estimate to install a dozen small cells on utility poles instead of moving forward with a proposed 60-foot tower.

According to Itemlive.com, Verizon noted that the infrastructure is necessary to fill coverage gaps for both wireless and cell service and add 5G.

The city and residents have been battling with Verizon since 2014, opposing construction on the proposed tower with the city filing a lawsuit against the carrier. 

However, in March, a Land Court judge approved the tower project.

Judge Jennifer Roberts ruled that after more than four years and six proposed alternate sites that were rejected, the city’s denial of a permit prohibits the utility from providing cell service and violates the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Roberts ordered the City Council to grant a special permit or any other permit and “take all necessary actions to remove any further impediments to the construction of a proposed cell tower.”

In the meantime, PMLP was working to strike a deal with Verizon to provide better service. “I am hopeful we can work out an agreement,” said Charles Orphanos, PMLP’s manager. “We have been working towards this all along because it’s in everyone’s best interest. I don’t think anyone wants large towers going up in the city.”

June 6, 2019

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