The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority cancelled a proposal to install hundreds of towers along commuter rail tracks to improve WiFi service.
Residents and local officials objected to the 75-foot-high monopoles, and the entire Massachusetts Congressional delegation sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission seeking additional review of the plan.
In a letter to communications contractor BAI, MBTA interim general manager Steve Poftak said the monopoles were too high. He also suggested that the contractor was overbuilding the towers to maximize opportunities to lease excess space to third-party companies.
BAI was set to spend $140 million to install the poles. After earning back its investment, the contractor would pay the MBTA 7.5% of the revenue generated through advertising and leasing space on the towers. BAI acquired inMotion Wireless, which was the original contractor on this project.
The MBTA invited BAI to submit a new proposal that accounted for “community concerns with pole size and location.” Link to full story in The Boston Globe.
Photo credit: Susan Mara Bregman