Verizon Wireless: Easements Are Forever

Verizon Wireless wants an easement to use the Town’s right of way for its small cell and related equipment. Fair enough — until you read the document. Here are some things that are deal breakers: 

  • The easement is “perpetual” - forever.  That is too long. Pole license agreements in major cities have terms measured in years or decades, not lifetimes. 
  • Verizon Wireless can install equipment in any “shapes, sizes and configurations.” This defeats the purpose of the submitted plans, if Verizon Wireless can change its configuration at any time. Forever is a long time.
  • No obligation to maintain its equipment. A telecom might let equipment rust and decay if not cost effective to upgrade or maintain, as claimed in New Jersey and Pennsylvania (link below)
  • The easement can be used by or sold to anyone. Imagine the horror of future townsfolk if the easement is sold for big bucks to the likes of a Monty Burns of the Simpsons. 
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It is not okay to say that GMP has a similar easement. I don't know when electricity came to Norwich but times and sensibilities have changed. Plus GMP is a public utility located in Vermont subject to all kinds of control by the Vermont PUC.  

Bottom line: Easements are forever and that is too long here. The Selectboard and Verizon Wireless have good options available. Those will be discussed in a future post. 


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