Verizon Versus Housing Authority Over Rooftop Antennas


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During the Arlington (MA) Housing Authority (AHA) board meeting on November 17, members discussed a Verizon antenna contract for the Hauser building and concerns over equipment. YourArlington reported that the Hauser is home to elderly and disabled residents and is the seventh tallest building in Arlington Heights, making it an attractive location for rooftop antenna equipment. According to the board’s attorney, John Greco, Verizon’s compliance with its existing lease at the Hauser is worrisome. He said, “we don’t know what they’ve [Verizon] added to this facility in terms of additional power and antennas.”

Greco added that Verizon had ignored numerous requests to sign an “affidavit on what it has done on the roof.” Per the telecom’s contract, signed in 2016, there are limitations to what infrastructure it can add to the Hauser’s rooftop.

According to Greco, a Verizon representative reached out to the board and offered $200 more per month to finish its contract through 2026. However, he said it’s “unclear” what type of equipment and power would be involved. 

YourArlington reported that the housing authority retains 100 percent of its revenues from antenna contracts, which it applies to various projects. The AHA has antennas from multiple wireless service providers on two buildings – the Hauser and the Winslow Tower – and collects between $20,000 – $30,000 per month from the rooftop leases, as estimated by YourArlington

Even though its rooftop antennas provide service to many in Arlington, Hauser residents dealt with the loss of Verizon landline services in September. The carrier blamed “outdated technology and aging [copper] infrastructure” but was turned away earlier this year when it presented a plan to upgrade Arlington Housing with fiber. At the same time, commissioner Jo Anne Preston requested $250,000 in American Recovery Act Plan funds to upgrade “broadband communications systems” in senior housing residences. 

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