On Tuesday, Nov. 12, in a marathon meeting of City Council, members passed items affecting infrastructure and short-term rentals in Everett.
Council approved the installation of small cell antennas at the following locations: 431, 573 and 642 Broadway; 40 Cabot St.; 141 Chelsea St.; 27 and 31 Dean St.; 45, 180, 275 and 493 Ferry St.; 110 Florence St.; 91 Garland St.; 23 Griswold St.; 18 Kelvin St.; 9 Kenwood Rd; 301 Main St.; 8, 12 and 49 Montrose St.; 205 Russell St.; 57 Tremont St; 132 Union St.; and 6-8 Windsor St.
These are part of 42 total antennas being installed by ExteNet Systems, Inc. to benefit T-Mobile customers. The company will be requesting another 20 locations in the coming months. In January, Verizon will also be appearing before City Council to request installation of small cell antennas.
Cities across the country are currently juggling similar petitions from cellular giants wanting to install small cell antennas, one of the foundational technologies for 5G connectivity.
Also, 5G networks benefit smartphone and tablet users with faster download and upload speeds, smoother streaming of online content, higher quality voice and video calls and more reliable connections. While it may not sound like much of a leap from 4G/LTE Advanced, 5G allows a user to download content up to 10 times faster. It is projected that 5G will be fully mainstream by 2025.
Tim Williamson of National Grid asked Council for permission to strengthen its infrastructure benefitting Verizon customers. The company aims to install poles on Bow and Langdon Streets, and to lay underground laterals, cables and wires; construct a line of underground electric conduits, including the necessary sustaining and protecting fixtures, under and across Beacham and Behen Streets; construct a gas main line on Second and Spring Streets; and construct a bare steel main on Wyllis Avenue.
“This is related to the new substation we’re building next to the casino,” said Williamson. “We have to replace a lot of the old poles and infrastructure that has been there for decades.”
While the company’s petition is largely a formality, Council can impose recommendations meant to mitigate the impact of construction on local neighborhoods.
“We had the casino activity for two or three years,” said Council Wayne Matewsky. “These people have put up with a lot down there.”
Williamson said National Grid will work with local police to ensure that traffic in the area is not affected by the construction. In addition, the company has notified all abutters of the project.
The councilor also asked that the pavement be returned to “pristine” condition following the upgrades.
“Sometimes when you put a pole in, you leave gravel there and the weeds grow through it,” he cautioned.
The work is scheduled to start April 1, 2020, and is expected to last up to one week.
It is part of two larger jobs in the Lower Broadway area.