Technicians have been installing gray boxes on light poles and street signs throughout the neighborhood in recent weeks, raising the obvious question: “What are they?”
Luckily, one of our tipsters asked a technician, who said they’re antennas for cell service. The city rents space on the light poles to telecom companies that install the antennas to improve service. They rent for as much as $400 a month, according to Crain’s.
While the city has been preparing to rent the poles for years, installation has been delayed as the city negotiates with the telecom companies. The city identified 250,000 possible sites for installations years ago, but only 4,000 have been reserved, Crain’s reported in July. Since then, it looks like cell installation has accelerated. Hopefully, that means cell service will gradually improve as our phones get faster.
(Come to think of it, people should note the “dead zones” on the UWS in the comments so maybe we can convince some companies to cover those areas better.)