The rooftop of Thornes Marketplace on Main Street in Northampton, MA will soon be seen with a bank of Bell Atlantic-Verizon Mobile antennas. The Planning Board of the town has passed a unanimous vote to get the antennas installed.
The people residing in the town of Northampton have recently been more active in their use of smartphones, iPads, and other 4G LTE devices. This results in a higher demand for 4G LTE coverage. Jay Latorre, a Verizon engineer, said “Northampton is a very strong customer base for us.”
Verizon has other structures in this town, but saw the need for more. The already standing towers operate at a 700 MHz frequency, but only one offers 2100 MHz bandwidth. All Verizon towers in Northampton will need to offer both frequencies in order to have sufficient coverage.
The plans for the new antennas include 12 columns atop three blocks at the rear side of the Thornes Marketplace rooftop. The structure will not exceed 10 feet in height, but it will be somewhat noticeable from surrounding streets.
Northampton’s Planning Board is worried how it could negatively affect the aesthetics of this historic town. Fortunately, the designer and the workers installing the antennas, data and electricity cables have ideas as to how to disguise the equipment.
They plan to paint the cables and antennas to match the surrounding area. The equipment that is not in contact with the building is being painted white and the cables attached to the building will be painted the correct color in order to match the brick on the building. The devices are also being installed on the backside of the building so it does not stand out. They are doing all that they can to keep the equipment as hidden and as low key as possible.
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