The Issue

A Right-of-Way Use Agreement between the Village of Matinecock, and Crown Castle, a utility company, is currently under consideration by the Village Trustees. If signed, this contract would give Crown Castle a non-exclusive right to install wireless telecommunications equipment at a minimum, on four telephone poles in the vicinity of 540-700 Chicken Valley Road and west of Wolver Hollow Road, with minimal review by the town. The contract would also give Crown Castle:

 

  • Broad use of all utility poles in Matinecock for additional wireless installations, and
  • The right to add new utility poles, without our knowledge of or consent to the specific technologies installed on them for a period of up to 25 years.

 

The proposed telecom equipment would be part of a Distributed Antenna System (DAS).  In a DAS, a locker- type utility box with extension brackets supporting two antennas would be mounted on the telephone poles under consideration. Each box accomodates up to four separate wireless carriers, none of which have been specified at this time. Residents have learned that controversial ‘Smart Grid’ technology could be one possible candidate, raising a number of concerns regarding privacy and safety issues.

 

Crown Castle’s initial purpose for installing the DAS is to provide stronger cell phone coverage for customers experiencing dropped calls within a certain radius of Chicken Valley Road. CC has not as yet specified which Cell phone carrier—T-Mobile, Verizon, ATT, or possibly another, will provide the service. While the offer of better cell phone service may seem attractive, signing the contract with Crown Castle may open the door to a host of safety, aesthetic, and property value issues for residents of the Village, down the road. For this reason, Matinecock Residents for Intelligent Communications urge the Trustees to delay signing the Agreement with Crown Castle, until all the questions and concerns associated with it are fully addressed.

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