BRIGHTON - Anyone with their eye on the sky in the Barton and Island Pond area tomorrow may see an unusual sight – a helicopter carrying large poles that are part of a cellular telephone tower upgrade.
"We’re in the process of upgrading cell communications in sites in Barton and Island Pond,” said property owner and State Senator Vincent Illuzzi who, along with his brother Joseph Illuzzi, owns the management company Site Acquisitions Inc.
The towers will be on Barton Mountain in Barton and on Paradis Mountain in Island Pond. “We obtained permits earlier this year from the Public Service Board with the support of the towns of Barton and Brighton,” said Illuzzi.
The new tower in Island Pond will be a 130-foot, steel, self-sustaining monopole and will be painted dull battleship gray. The tower will be constructed in sections. The base section weighs 11,500 pounds, the second section weighs 9,500 pounds, the third section is 7,500 pounds, the fourth section is 1,700 and top section is 580 pounds. The helicopter will install the two top sections and a crane will install the bottom sections.
The Barton site will have an 85-foot southern yellow pine wood pole and will be the same color as a dark utility pole. The helicopter will install the pole on Barton Mountain.
The antennas will be the traditional type that are circular with panels that radiate 360-degrees. All the antennas will be above the tree line.
Both sites currently have older telephone poles that are 50 to 60 feet high. The poles were installed when cable television came to the region in the 1960s. The poles will remain in place as a couple of radio stations and public service agencies are still using them.
Upgrading an existing site eliminates the “pin cushion” approach as there will be room for three carriers, said Illuzzi. He also said local and state law encourages wireless companies co-locating. AT&T wireless is the provider using the site now. The upgrade will improve the company’s coverage in the Barton and Island Pond areas.
“More and more people are relying on cell phones for telephone and data communications,” said Illuzzi. “These sites will be state of the art so you can use your handheld device for e-mail, telephone and viewing the Internet. Plus it’s a public safety factor and will provide for better responder access and coverage. It’s the way of the times.”
Illuzzi compared cellular phones to what electricity was 100 years ago.