I don’t see it either—a neatly landscaped AT&T VRAD installation in Evanston, Illinois.
Google Maps Nestled against the northwest side of Chicago, Park Ridge is a fairly unremarkable suburb—except for two things. First, I live there, which gives it a certain je ne sais quoi. Second, we have two truly high-speed broadband providers, and a third is about to arrive.

At its Committee of the Whole meeting earlier this month, the Park Ridge City Council voted to approve AT&T’s bid to install 13 video-ready access devices (VRADs) throughout the suburb so that the telecom giant can bring its U-Verse Internet/TV/voice service to the upstanding residents of our fair city. Included in the franchise agreement is a lump-sum payment of $2,000 per VRAD to cover landscaping.

The VRADs are to be installed in public parkways (the space between the sidewalk and street) around town, including one at the end of my block.

The $2,000 landscaping payments are due to the fact that the boxes are big (four feet tall and five feet wide) and ugly.

While surrounding them with shrubbery won’t camouflage them from residents upset about their locations, landscaping should make them less obnoxious to look at.     

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