Tag Archive | "AT&T"

Bid to Replace Guy-Wire with Monopole Moves Ahead in Noyac

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By Claire Walla

Plans to replace a 203-foot guy-wire tower that stretches up out of the hills of Noyac with a 190-foot monopole have slid through the Southampton Town Planning Board without a hitch. Last Thursday, March 8 the public hearing on the application (by AT&T and Verizon Wireless, LLC) was officially closed.

After a 10-day comment period, the planning board will reconvene to discuss the written report submitted by town planner Claire Vail.

“The guy-wire pole was much larger and less attractive,” said planning board member Jacqui Lofaro.

The board has 60 days in which to make a decision. The application is tentatively scheduled to be discussed by the board at its April 26 meeting.

The property in question belongs to Noyac resident Myron Levine, whose house sits on an adjoining piece of property just off Middle Lane Highway. According to Levine, the cell-tower swap is a win-win for all parties: it replaces a large wiry tower with a less-imposing pole, and the new structure will allow for more wireless carriers to put antennae in the area.

“AT&T has already decided to come onto this tower, so one benefit already is that you’ll have Verizon and AT&T,” he said. Currently, the tower only carries signals for Verizon.

Levine said that after the board makes its decision in April, he’ll have to file for a building permit for the new monopole and then construction can begin. Vail confirmed the whole replacement process should take about two months to complete.

“Everyone anticipates that probably by the end of the summer the tower will be up and the other will be down,” Levine continued.

The current structure — in the shape of a capitol ‘H’ with a cross bar on top — was erected sometime in the 1940s as a radio tower. AT&T eventually acquired the structure, which now only sends cell-phone signals. But, it wasn’t until Levine actually purchased the property in 2008 that the plan to replace the old model with a newer monopole was enacted.

According to a presentation on the project from Verizon Wireless, LLC the monopole will hold all of its antennae internally. So, in addition to being far shorter than the current structure, it will never have to branch out vertically to accommodate more carriers. The pole would have room for up to six different carriers at one time.

As part of Verizon’s presentation on the proposed monopole, the company worked with Creative Visuals, Inc. to produce computer generated imaging that shows the visual impacts of a monopole as opposed to the current structure.

The company took pictures from 16 different vantage points, including stretches of Noyac Road, Long Beach and the Jordan Haerter Memorial Bridge. The company concluded that — when swapping the guy-wire tower for the monopole — the proposed monopole improved the Noyac vista.

Can You Hear Me Now, Bridgehampton?

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By Claire Walla

According to Lawrence Ré, an attorney for AT&T, the company has searched high and low in Bridgehampton for an existing site at which to place a new cell tower.

“We’ve been looking since 2008,” he said. “We thought the best spot would be the fire house, and repeated attempts were made to see if we could lease space on the tower there.”

“Attempts were also made to go into church steeples,” he continued. However, he said those efforts proved fruitless.

Now, AT&T is eying a 16,213-square-foot parcel off Foster Road (near the train tracks and Butter Lane) to place a new cell phone tower. The structure would be a monopole, meaning all antennae would exist in the interior of the pole, but — without an existing structure to attach itself to — the proposed 120-foot tower would sit in an open lot within the hamlet’s business district.

Ré went on to explain at a Southampton Town Planning Board meeting last Thursday, January 26 that AT&T’s service gap fades west of Butter Lane and one mile to the east of the proposed cell tower property on Foster Avenue.

Cell phone towers “really have to be [placed] every mile, to a mile-and-a-half,” he continued. “Your phone is only eight-tenths of a watt, that’s really low power.”

(AT&T is also proposing to place a 120-foot tall monopole on a 71,000-square-foot parcel on Seabreeze Avenue in Westhampton.)

While Ré explained that the tower could be reduced to a height of 90 feet, AT&T has proposed making the pole 120 feet in order to give it the capacity to take-on other wireless carriers, like Sprint, Verizon or T-Mobile. He also added that 120 feel is well within the threshold of 200 feet required for a cell tower to be built near the East Hampton Airport.

However, according to town planner Claire Vail, the proposed height does not currently meet the “fall zone” requirements mandated by town code. But, she added that the town does prefer industrial zones to residential areas for such structures. So, the Southampton Town Planning Board would be able to issue a variance for the structure, if it chose to go ahead with the project.

Board member Jacqui Lofaro asked whether AT&T had considered installing a Distributed Antennae System (DAS) instead of a monopole. (DAS is a way of transporting wireless signals through a collection of small, black boxes that are evenly distributed throughout a community. DAS also operates at a lower frequency.)

However, Ré said people tend to object to DAS. Signals only penetrate 30 or 40 feet from the DAS antenna. And while this system may work in heavily concentrated areas like Manhattan, Ré said, “If a house is set-back 100 feet from the road, it would still get marginal service.”

While Ré acknowledged that the site AT&T is now eyeing for the monopole is not ideal, he said it’s relatively far from residences.

“That’s why we ended up here, it’s an industrial area,” he continued. “We’re trying to remain away from as many houses as we can.”

Though the Hayground School is also in proximity to the site, Ré noted that it’s roughly 1,300 feet away.

“On Long Island, no matter where we pick, there’s always something 1,300 feet away!” he joked. “Again, this wasn’t our first choice, but it really seems like we’ve run into a dead end.”

In other news…

The Southampton Town Planning Board passed a resolution to commence a SEQRA report for the demolition of an existing 203-foot cell tower on a property in Noyac. The decades-old tower — currently a structure made of two large metal beams connected by two large crossbars — would be replaced by a 190-foot monopole.

Keeping it Local in a Plugged in World

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web biz AT&T Store EH_4787

By Emily J. Weitz

When you think of a mom and pop shop, the first thing that comes to mind might be a hardware store or a general store, or even a little boutique. A wireless retailer might not seem like the classic small-town business. But in the age of the Internet and cell phones, our world has gotten rapidly more plugged in. And that means that the little local shop that can connect you to the world is a key component of Main Street.

Todd Powell, owner of both Bridgehampton and East Hampton Wireless, has worked to create a small-town feel in his shops.

“Our shops are unique because of our customer service,” he says. “Our locations have been designed to bring that Hamptons feel to a customer’s visit, and to offer small-town comfort.”

When you’re selling something that feels as far from homemade and old-fashioned as an iPhone, it’s a different kind of challenge to bring about that personal feel. But it usually comes back to the same practices.

“Most of the time, my team and I greet you by name, know your account history and are familiar with your ongoing needs. We offer customers emergency replacement service in difficult situations, guaranteed accessory replacement for malfunctions, unique billing analysis, and credit retrieval on billing issues.”

Supporting local business is a beloved concept in the home of the Save Sag Harbor movement. But the economy is tough, and the Internet has become the place to go for the best deals out there. This has a profound effect on local business, but Powell’s argument for supporting local business is far from altruistic.

“Where you buy your phone is critical,” he says. “When you activate a new line of service or upgrade your service to new equipment, any mechanical problems with the phone needs to be addressed with the location you purchased the equipment from.”

In other words, you buy a phone on the Internet, you’re going to get Internet assistance. It’s one thing to enter your credit card information and make a purchase online, but it’s quite another to navigate through the “Frequently Asked Questions” to try to solve a malfunction in your device. It’s that value of eye contact and a compassionate listener that Powell’s wireless stores provide.

“Also,” he adds, “we have always matched any legitimate advertised price online by AT&T.”

Bridgehampton Wireless opened in 2006, and the location in East Hampton opened in 2010. They are AT&T Exclusive Retailer locations, which means they have been approved by AT&T to sell these products.

“The process to become an approved exclusive retailer is not an easy one,” says Powell. “A retailer has to reach rigorous benchmarks by AT&T to receive that designation.”

Since Bridgehampton Wireless opened its doors, the wireless business has evolved tremendously, and it shows no signs of slowing down.

“I believe the change in the business is upon us as we speak,” says Powell.

He is grateful to his team, which provides customers with “The ability to have knowledgeable, understanding support to properly guide [them] through [their] needs and, most important to point out what might be coming down the road shortly so [they] can properly plan a purchase.”

With the small town wireless retailer, it’s like anything else. If you go to your hometown doctor, he or she will be there to check out an illness, but also to monitor your status as you heal. A phone or wireless device requires the same ongoing support. The initial purchase is only a part of the relationship, just as it’s only a fraction of the business.

“Our company philosophy is to properly place you in the right technology and wireless plans to fit your needs and offer you the quickest learning curve with the fewest headaches,” says Powell.

As these small-town wireless shops establish themselves more firmly in the community, they also try to give back. Because the East End has supported them, “We support local charities and high school programs through donations as a way of saying thank you,” says Powell. “Our team is grateful to the East End community.”