AT&T Tells Chappaquiddick They Are Their Last Hope for a Tower

On the island of Chappaquiddick, or “Chappy” as the locals say, a 115-foot AT&T tower is being proposed in a residential location, and it’s sparking debate. The island has long struggled to acquire better service and attract interest from carriers, reported the Vineyard Gazette. Some residents oppose the tower, citing safety concerns, potential health hazards, and aesthetic worries, but others, including emergency personnel, are in favor of improved cell service.

AT&T representative Brian Grossman told the Martha’s Vineyard Commission, “Don’t punish AT&T for being willing to step into the void which no other carrier was willing to do. If AT&T folds its proposal, no Verizon proposal is coming on the property.”

Stephen Tirrell, who lives near the proposed site, commented in opposition to the tower, “AT&T is a multinational corporation that you’re going to allow to set up a business in a residential neighborhood here on Martha’s Vineyard, Chappaquiddick, a place where people come to vacation, to see wildlife, to see the beautiful ocean. If you woke up in the morning and looked out your bedroom window and there’s a cell tower, what would you think?” 

Resident Bob Gurnitz had another view. “We heard from the lawyer from AT&T that this isn’t going to go on forever . . . no other carrier is willing to take the lead. We’ve heard from both police and fire chiefs that coverage is essential and in my opinion, we have no choice but to go forward and best still do that while AT&T has an interest.”

The proposed tower will be built by AT&T with co-location for Verizon and one other carrier. The new tower will replace a 104-foot temporary tower and an 84-foot tower, both on the same site.

The tower is currently under review by the Martha’s Vineyard Commission. If approved, the project will require a special permit from the town planning board.

November 13, 2017               

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