They’re not the ones on the Boardwalk, but Verizon is installing more wireless 5G antennas in Rehoboth Beach.
During a commissioner workshop April 5, City Manager Sharon Lynn announced the communication company would be installing four new 5G-capable light poles on Rehoboth Avenue. A crew from Danella, a Pennsylvania-based utility contractor, was on site the week of May 3.
The new antennas are expected to look like the five AT&T installed on Rehoboth Avenue in 2019.
During the meeting, Lynn also said Verizon will be submitting applications for an additional 11, mainly along King Charles and Bayard avenues.
In an email April 21, Lynne Coan, city spokesperson, said the applications include two on First Street, three on King Charles Avenue, four on Bayard Avenue, one on Wilmington Avenue and one on Laurel Street. The exact locations were not given.
In an email April 28, Chris Serico, Verizon spokesperson, said the small-cell facilities proposed for King Charles Avenue, Laurel Street, Delaware Avenue and Wilmington Avenue remain in the planning stage. Timing for those may vary, but if approved, he said, construction could begin next year.
In a separate email May 5, Coan said the city has an agreement with Verizon on the location for three of these four facilities – ocean block of Laurel Street, the intersection of King Charles Avenue and Lake Drive, and the intersection of Delaware and First. The city is still selecting the specific decorative pole for the Delaware Avenue antenna and negotiations are ongoing for the ocean block of Wilmington.
Coan said the city is still awaiting formal submissions from Verizon on the other seven.
Verizon’s proposed Boardwalk antennas will not be installed by Memorial Day as it had desired, but installation doesn’t appear to be too far off, either.
Serico said Verizon continues to collaborate with city officials and the original manufacturer of the streetlights on the Boardwalk to replace existing structures there. That project is slated to finish by this fall, he said.
As part of the proposal submitted by Verizon, the 16 Boardwalk antennas have always been located on the ocean side of the Boardwalk. It’s not clear if that will always be the case. City commissioners have scheduled a workshop for 9 a.m., Monday, May 10. One of the agenda items is to discuss a proposal to relocate antenna installations from the east side of the Boardwalk to the west edge or west side of the Boardwalk.