Verizon installs small cell antenna next to Rehoboth Boardwalk

Company replaces utility pole at the end of Wilmington Avenue
December 29, 2023

Verizon recently installed a small cell antenna along the Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk. 

According to Public Works Director Kevin Williams, the telecommunication company added a new antenna at the end of Wilmington Avenue, near Gus & Gus, at the end of October.

According to paperwork submitted by Verizon to the city in advance of installation, an existing 30-foot utility pole was replaced with a new 35-foot pole, but not in the same spot – it’s now 3 feet closer to the Boardwalk. The same document shows that with the antenna mounted on top, the structure stands 38-feet-6-inches tall.

The antenna doesn’t appear to be working yet. As of Dec. 13, the electric box at the base of the pole has no meter in it. Williams said he didn’t know when the antenna would be turned on.

For now, Verizon is not pursuing any more Boardwalk antennas. The company 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, the number dropped to 16, and then it dropped again to 12 in July 2021. The city announced in March 2022 that Verizon had withdrawn all applications for the Boardwalk.

Williams said there are no other requests on or near the Boardwalk at this time. Also, he said he’s not aware of any additional antennas planned anywhere else in the city.

This is the second Verizon antenna just feet from the beach. About this time last year, Verizon installed an antenna on the east side of Surf Avenue, near the Pennsylvania Avenue dune crossing.

AT&T also has multiple small cell antennas feet from the beach – at the end of Stockley Street, on top of the information center on Delaware Avenue and one on the Boardwalk at Baltimore Avenue.

Proposed locations for Verizon’s other Boardwalk antennas

A little more than two years ago, Verizon presented the city with a dozen locations for small cell antennas. The new Wilmington Avenue antenna is on that list. Here are the other proposed locations, beginning at the south end of the Boardwalk:

Prospect Street – existing utility pole location

St. Lawrence Street – new pole, east of last existing utility pole

Norfolk Street – new pole, east of last existing utility pole

New Castle Street – new pole, north side of street

Hickman Street – existing pole location

Brooklyn Avenue – new pole, east of last existing utility pole

Baltimore Avenue, Boardwalk – east side of Boardwalk, on top of existing volleyball light

Maryland Avenue – new pole, east of last existing utility pole

Olive Avenue – new pole, near Obie’s by the Sea

Virginia Avenue – new pole, on south side of street

Surfside Place – existing pole location.

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