A representative of Extenet Systems presented this week to the North End / Waterfront Neighborhood Council (NEWNC) regarding their plans to install a Wireless Distributed Antenna System Network in Boston’s North End and throughout downtown using city-owned street light poles and traffic signal posts. Verizon and other wireless carriers would buy service from Extenet to enhance their wireless coverage within Boston’s neighborhoods for phone and data use.
NEWNC members expressed concerns regarding the antenna design saying it is not in keeping with the historic nature of the North End’s streets. The company already has a license to offer service from City Hall, but is planning to appear before Boston’s Public Improvement Commission (PIC) in February 2016. Extenet said they will work with the City on an alternate design.
The new antenna systems would extend out from the top of street light poles and on top of traffic and pedestrian walk signal posts. According to the company’s license from the City, Extenet is not allowed to install its system on gas lanterns and acorn type street lights. The new cylindrical, vertical antennas would be installed where there are standard concrete or steel posts with perpendicular halogen lights.
In addition to the North End, plans for the antenna systems include Chinatown, the Financial District and Beacon Hill. Back Bay already has some in place along the Esplanade. Extenet is one of three companies currently licensed in Boston to install the antenna system networks.
A map and renderings of the new antennas are shown below. View the above video for the presentation and discussion at the neighborhood meeting.