Friday, July 17, 2009

Tustin’s turn: Why AT&T U-verse isn’t happening here yet - Alt+Save with the Gadgetress -

Tustin’s turn: Why AT&T U-verse isn’t happening here yet - Alt+Save with the Gadgetress -

"The city has other issues it wants resolved before greenlighting the rest of the project, said Elizabeth Binsack, Tustin’s communicty development director, who invited me to view the presentation given about AT&T and given to the Planning Commission and City Council.

“I gotta tell you, the sites we looked at in our walk, some were conflicting with line of sight, some were in the spot of trees and fire hydrants. I don’t think they looked at those sites at all. We did,” Binsack said.

Other issues:

AT&T's plan to install 93 utility cabinets in Tustin included underneath this tree. City officials stand next to mock AT&T box. Photo from city of Tustin.

1. AT&T’s unwillingness to move these boxes to less obtrusive areas, such as the back of the park instead of smack dab in the middle, or off the edge of the sidewalk and into the landscaping (see photo on right and below). ”We haven’t heard back from AT&T,” she said.

2. U-verse isn’t as advanced as Verizon FiOS, which instead of offering fiber optic technology to the middle of a neighborhood, builds the fiber all the way to the house. (”What if we end up with 93 boxes that are obselete?” Binsack wondered.)

3. Safety, not for the box, but the public. ”Forgetting the issue of safety (of the box), but personal safety. In Houston, a U-verse box blew up. It melted the guy’s garage,” she said, handing me the articles to prove it."

Alderman Doesn't Like Sight Of 'U-Verse' Boxes

Journal & Topics Newspapers Online: "Alderman Doesn't Like Sight Of 'U-Verse' Boxes

Representatives from AT&T at the Committee of the Whole meeting on Monday, July 13 answered questions about installing the required boxes for the U-Verse cable system proposed for Park Ridge.

The company's legal department stated they believe they do not have to pay building permit fees for the 36 connection boxes it needs to serve the city. Review and permit fees would total $36,000. However, the company offered the city $1,500 per box it could spend on landscaping around the boxes, an offer of $54,000. In addition, going forward, AT&T will pay the city 6% of its gross revenue from Park Ridge residents.

Ald. Jim Allegretti (4th) spoke against the connection boxes that are frequently located in municipality parkways, calling them 'unsightly and unsafe.' He also asked if residents could request the box be placed in the rear yard instead of the front."