An agreement between the State College borough and a wireless infrastructure provider is coming to fruition as several new data antennas were recently installed.
Borough Council approved a Crown Castle International Corp. proposal in February to add 12 antennas throughout the borough on top of existing streetlight and utility poles, boosting the data capabilities of cellular users downtown.
“The antennas act as data nodes and supply data to the various carriers like Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and such,” Public Works Director Mark Whitfield said. “(Crown Castle) then sells the service back to the providers.”
A majority of the nodes are slated to be installed in downtown, he said, with some in residential areas. He could not say how many have already been placed or when the project would be completed.
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In the cases of poles with attached lights, he said, Crown Castle has agreed to maintain the lights. Some poles, like the ones downtown, will be completely replaced, while some, probably in the residential zones, will be maintained as a wooden pole.
Crown Castle is handling the installation and maintenance of all the new poles, he said.
According to the agreement, the borough will receive a base annual fee of $1,200 from Crown Castle. The borough will also receive $3,600 for the use of nine poles and another $4,500 in rent for using borough structures, bringing a total of $9,300 per year.
Crown Castle also operates wireless antennas in Patton Township.