Dutchess County Town Sued By Verizon For Delaying Antenna
If you only have one bar on your phone, Verizon says that's not their fault.
Last week Verizon announced that they were rolling out 5G service nationwide. The news was met with excitement, but also some pessimism from local residents who say their LTE service is still lacking. Verizon users who experience spotty service in the Town of Wappinger, however, may not realize that there's a battle going on that's behind their dead zone.
Bloomberg reports that Verizon has filed a lawsuit against the Town of Wappinger over an antenna application they say has been illegally delayed. The tower site in question is located near Castle Point, where Verizon says they want to build a new antenna to fill in a gap in their service. The 150-foot tower would sit on a 48-acre horse farm and service areas in Wappinger and Fishklll with deficient wireless service. The lawsuit claims that Wappinger Town Board Members have refused to approve or deny the plan, breaking the FCC's "shot clock" rule that was established in the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
A representative from Tarpon Towers, the company that has been hired to build the antenna for Verizon, first met with Town representatives in August of 2019. Documents from the lawsuit claim that the board needed to either approve or deny the plan by September 21, 2020, a deadline that has come and gone. Verizon claims a very small, but vocal opposition group of "Not In My Backyard" residents is being used as an excuse for the Town of Wappinger to violate federal, local and state laws by not voting on the tower.