Newspaper Column: Citizens Win a Voice on Phone Towers




Nicoson, William J.

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The Connection


The wireless convenience of a phone in your pocket may produce a tower-blighted vista in the picture window of your home-owning neighbors. Calls to and from a mobile phone must be transmitted to or from an elevated antenna within the phone’s range. The exploding demand for wireless phones in Fairfax County has engendered urgent pressure for the erection of ever more transmission towers (called monopoles). In 1996, wireless subsidiaries of Bell Atlantic and AT&T concluded lease agreements with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) permitting the erection of 30 monopoles on VDOT property within Fairfax County. As part of their rent, the private companies agreed to purchase and install on the towers, for VDOT’s use, equipment for televised traffic monitoring, radio advisories, and emergency call boxes.


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American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T), Bell Atlantic, Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), Wireless communications