A cell tower that went up about three years ago in northeastern New Canaan this week received transmission equipment from a popular carrier.
Verizon installed its equipment on the Soundview Lane “monopine” tower on Monday and Tuesday, according to property owner Keith Richey.
AT&T has been on the tower for more than one year, Richey said, though the overwhelming majority of New Canaan mobile device users appear to be Verizon customers.
“Now they will finally see a benefit from having this tower,” he told NewCanaanite.com.
The addition of Verizon service is expected to fulfill the promise of the tower at the dead-end of Soundview, overlooking St. Luke’s School, to finally bring coverage to the northeast quadrant of town.
Asked for a comment, Ray Vergati, regional manager of the cell tower development company that oversaw the project, Homeland Towers, said, “Homeland Towers is very proud as to how well this stealth monopine looks and blends into the landscape. I’ve received much correspondence over the years from residents in this area, typically the elderly, expressing their concerns with the lack of cell coverage. With Verizon’s pending installation, we are glad to see that Verizon subscribers as well as the first responders will now have reliable service in this area.”
Richey said it took A&T a few weeks to go live once its equipment was installed, and that Verizon may be looking at the same timeline.
“The problem is you hear about these supply shortages and engineer shortages,” Richey said. “All this stuff should have been so much quicker, but because of one thing and another evidently they got stalled for months. I don’t know if it was Eversource or Frontier, but somebody did not get a line out here, there was no power or signal to the base or something simple. Verizon had signed up about a year ago.”
The Connecticut Siting Council approved the Soundview Lane tower on Richey’s property in September 2020, following years of public hearings and opposition from some neighbors. In reaction to the process, the town’s Planning & Zoning Commission adopted new regulations related to applications for cell infrastructure on private property (the town attorney later questioned their enforceability).
In addition to the Soundview Lane tower, the Siting Council in December approved a tower that’s planned for 1837 Ponus Ridge, near the intersection with Dan’s Highway. That tower is expected to fill a coverage gap in northwestern New Canaan. It’s unclear whether a third tower, proposed for the woods behind West School, will move forward, following pushback from some selectmen, Town Councilmen, neighbors and parents.
Asked whether his own neighbors who had opposed the monopine on Soundview still complain about it, Richey said no.
“People who use AT&T say, ‘Oh this is the greatest thing ever, it really made it so much better for the house,’ ” Richey said. “But for people who have got Verizon, it hasn’t done a thing.”