AT&T has continued to expand its cell tower footprint in Rehoboth Beach with the installation of a 5G antenna at the end of Stockley Street, feet from the Boardwalk.
In an email Aug. 4, Rehoboth Beach Public Works Director Kevin Williams said the antenna sitting on top of a wooden utility pole was installed in late April.
This antenna marks the sixth one installed by AT&T in the last two years. The telecommunications company installed five antennas in 2019 - two on Rehoboth Avenue, one on Wilmington, one on top of the information center at the Delaware Avenue end of the Boardwalk and one on the Boardwalk at Baltimore Avenue.
During a meeting in early April, city officials said in addition to the Stockley Street antenna, AT&T was looking to install one at the southeast corner of Bayard Avenue and Hickman Street.
Williams said AT&T is no longer looking at that location; instead the request has been modified to install an antenna at 314 Bayard, which is on the northeast corner of Bayard Avenue and Laurel Street. He said the modification was submitted to the city in July and is still under review by building and licensing.
Not surprisingly, AT&T isn’t the only telecommunications company installing and looking to install new cell towers in Rehoboth Beach. In October 2019, commissioners voted in favor of allowing Verizon to permanently install cellphone antennas on the downtown water tower.
In November 2019, one month after the city approved the water tower antennas, Verizon requested installing short-range, lower-power antennas on nearly 20 Boardwalk light poles. Williams said the company is still looking to install the antennas, but hasn’t officially submitted an application. He said Verizon is still working with Delmarva Power to try and reduce the number of accessory components, such as meters and mounts.
Williams said Verizon has also submitted applications for pole-mounted antennas at 6 Christian St., 39 Baltimore Ave., 1 Wilmington Ave., 100 Philadelphia St. and 707 King Charles Ave. He said he believes those applications are still under review.
Verizon was also recently given permission for 15 new small cell antennas on Route 1 in Delaware Department of Transportation’s rights of way, from Route 9 to the Maryland border.