Many San Francisco Residents Complain About AT&T Utility Boxes

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – A plan by AT&T to install over 700 utility boxes on San Francisco streets is being met with plenty of resistance from residents.

Many have complained that the gray utility boxes are unsightly and an eyesore, but Marc Blakeman with AT&T told the Board of Supervisors Land Use and Economic Development Committee that they work with residents to find the least offensive locations.

“We’ve had locations where we’ve been able to work with the community, find an alternative that works and we’re happy to move that cabinet to a new location,” Blakeman said.

But residents are telling a different story, with many speaking out at Tuesday’s hearing about their frustrations with the company.

“AT&T has been very distant in working with any of the neighborhood people, and they have proposed excessively large and intrusive boxes that make a wall on our sidewalk,” said one resident.

The boxes are five feet wide, four feet tall and two feet deep. AT&T has plans to install 726 of them throughout the city. So far, 185 permits have been granted, and only nine have been rejected.

AT&T has appealed three of the cases where permits were denied. The company has the right under state law to install the utility boxes, whether the public likes it or not.

(Copyright 2014 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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