Friday, October 18, 2002
Sprint says DPW site is acceptable for cell tower
An audience of three dozen people listened to Sprint PCS representatives present the results of their cell tower testing at the October 8 selectmen's meeting. The tests were done near the Carlisle Department of Public Works (DPW) shed, off Lowell Street, using an antenna lifted by a crane to heights of 100 and 150 feet. Sprint engineer Nooshin Zarien displayed maps of Carlisle showing how Sprint's cell phone reception would improve, with the higher tower providing the biggest improvement.
According to John Coste, a consultant for Sprint, the phone company's goal is to maximize coverage along Route 225. He said the way to achieve that is to locate two towers in Carlisle. One is planned for the eastern region of Route 225 (either of the proposed Duran or Woodward sites would work). Sprint would prefer to use the Conant Land for the second tower, because it is near the town center and Route 225, but they will use the DPW site if Conant is unavailable.
Questions from the audience pointed out that even with two towers in Carlisle, Sprint's coverage would contain gaps in service. Also, the technology Sprint uses is said to "breathe" - that is, gaps in coverage grow and shrink, depending on peak cell phone usage. The Sprint representatives would not rule out the possibility that a third tower might be needed in the future.
Finance committee chair Larry Barton lives on Elizabeth Ridge Road, which is near the DPW site. He was concerned about the economic cost to surrounding property owners. While leasing a tower site would bring the town revenue, Barton believes a much greater sum may be lost, if homes near a new cell tower lose ten to twenty percent of their market value.
The selectmen reminded the audience that Carlisle is mandated by the Federal Telecommunications Act to allow phone companies to remedy gaps in coverage.
© 2002 The Carlisle Mosquito