Despite Court Ruling, Town Residents and Mayor Keep Fighting Verizon

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UPDATE  Earlier this year, the State Court ruled against the Peabody City Council in favor of Verizon in a contentious battle that has spanned five years. The court said the council’s denial of the carrier’s proposal violated the 1996 Telecommunications Act by effectively prohibiting personal wireless services.  But that hasn’t stopped local residents and their Mayor Edward Bettencourt, Jr. from trying to find another alternative.  

“We have been engaged in a legal battle with Verizon since the spring of 2014,” said the mayor, as reported in itemlive.com. “They are a corporate giant trying to roll over neighborhoods. I love the action the neighborhood is taking and I pledge to you we will keep fighting.”

Verizon initially proposed a 60-foot cell tower while talking with the Peabody Municipal Light Plant (PMLP), to place antennas on the utility company’s poles as an alternative network distribution.  

Fans of a small cell arrangement are arguing in favor of installing units on the city’s light poles rather than constructing a cell tower.  Many neighbors of Michael’s Limousine Co., the site of the proposed cell tower, have expressed their preference for the light pole option. “My hope is PMLP, which is a separate entity for the city, can help us out and make this work for us and not have a tower,” Bettencourt said. “Let’s stay engaged.”

In a statement that revealed both her opposition to a new Verizon tower and a wish for peace amongst the townsfolk, resident Jaclyn Corriveau said, “I don’t want to hate on a business owner [Michael’s Limousine Co. the tower site property owner], especially one that has been so cooperative,” Corriveau said. “But I think it was a very poor decision to lease the space to Verizon and a very selfish one.”  

May 9, 2019

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