Six Year Tower Project Rejects Delay

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Vital Statistics: Tower base expansion needed to install microwave equipment will cost $36,500. Temporary solution will cost $1,700 installation charge, and $400 monthly.

Emergency communications in Sherborn have been under a constant state of development over the past six years, according to resident Jim Campbell at a December 15, meeting of the Board of Selectmen. The Dover-Sherborn Press reported many improvements have been made to the wireless network in the area, but the final step in the process is on hold because the cell tower on Hunting Lane is overloaded, and not capable of holding the necessary microwave equipment.

A base expansion would cost $36,500, too much for the tower owner, or the town. Instead, the Selectmen voted 4-0 with one abstention to pursue a temporary solution that will provide service as soon as possible.

In 2013, equipment was purchased to add an antenna to an existing tower on Lake Street, including the receiving station at the Lake Street site, the backhaul communications link and the repeater at a second tower site near Brush Hill. Earlier this year, Verizon equipment was installed on utility poles throughout the town.

Campbell said, “Verizon Fios is now cabled to the site. Verizon Wireless has had all its subcontractors in there, and we’re at the final step – believe it or not.” Verizon Fios will be an integral part of the solution by providing a T1 landline between the Hunting Lane tower and the Lake Street tower until a carrier can be found to move the microwave equipment.

To this point, the project has been paid with funding from $110,000 granted for the project back in 2013. Selectmen vice-chairman Paul DeRensis stated leftover funds would allow the town to afford the temporary solution for ten months before they would need to find an alternate source of funding.

December 21, 2016

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