After years of trying to get approval, Verizon has withdrawn its applications for wireless antennas on the Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk’s eastern side.
City Solicitor Glenn Mandalas announced the withdrawal during a March 7 commissioner workshop.
Verizon approached the city in November 2019 about installing 18 antennas along the Boardwalk by replacing the existing light poles with ones that have antennas built in.
In January 2021, following the threat of litigation by a Verizon attorney during a special meeting, city commissioners decided to move forward with the communication company’s proposed design for what was then 16 wireless antennas on the Boardwalk.
A few months later, in May, Chris Serico, Verizon communications manager, said Verizon was continuing to collaborate with city officials and the original manufacturer of the Boardwalk streetlights. The project was slated to finish by that fall, he said at the time.
The company came back before the commissioners again that July, with a proposal for fewer antennas, a total of 12, on the western edge of the Boardwalk. However, the antennas would be twice as tall because they would be installed on Delmarva Power utility poles or on new utility poles when Delmarva Power’s equipment didn’t allow for collocation. Applications for those locations were not officially submitted.
Serico confirmed Verizon is not pursuing applications on the eastern portion of the Boardwalk at this time, but would not elaborate on why they have been withdrawn, if the company plans on submitting applications for the western side of the Boardwalk, or if the company is concerned about customer service.
“As America's most reliable network, we remain confident in our service to our customers, with regional network upgrades, including those on Rehoboth Avenue, slated to be activated later this year,” said Serico in a March 7 email.
The requested antennas on the Boardwalk may have been withdrawn, but they’re not only antennas Verizon is installing in Rehoboth.
Verizon is in the process of installing four wireless antennas along the Rehoboth Avenue median. The company has also installed about a dozen antennas in the city’s metered areas. In October 2019, the city voted in favor of allowing Verizon to permanently install cellphone antennas on the downtown water tower.
Public hearing set on changes to wireless ordinance
During a meeting March 18, Rehoboth Beach commissioners set a public hearing related to the city’s wireless communication code for Tuesday, April 19.
As proposed, there are changes and additions to the code including definitions; establishing standards related to the location, placement, construction and maintenance of tower-based, non-tower and small wireless communication facilities; and further regulating wireless facilities within public rights of way. A full