Construction of new cell tower in Bow underway

A cell tower in Northfield is the same height and design as the planned Bow tower.

A cell tower in Northfield is the same height and design as the planned Bow tower. Courtesy Leslie Ludkte

By SRUTHI GOPALAKRISHNAN

Monitor staff

Published: 04-01-2024 9:00 AM

Soon, Bow residents will see a 190-foot tower along Branch Londonderry Turnpike that will begin to address some of the cell phone dead zones in town.

Following a legal battle and the nod of approval from residents regarding zoning adjustments, Rising Tide Towers LLC, a wireless infrastructure firm operating across Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire, will erect the tower.

The structure will be built on a 62-acre plot owned by the town, bordering properties along Crockett, Laurel and Sharon drives, as well as Branch Londonderry Turnpike East. It’s scheduled for completion by the end of May.

This means that depending on their vantage point, some residents will see the tower from their properties.

Dee Treybig, chair of the town’s telecommunications committee, said that while the height constraints for a cell tower needed to be adjusted from 90 feet because it was considerably lower than the trees, she is unhappy that it was increased to 190 feet.

“We need cell towers in Bow, there’s no argument on that,” said Treybig. “It’s just the location.”

Progress is already underway with the access road being cleared and preliminary groundwork at the tower site. Furthermore, a partnership with AT&T has been forged, with activation anticipated by the end of September.

While this tower will improve connectivity in a few areas in town, Treybig cautions: “This is not the magic tower that’s going to fix all our problems.”

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It will make a difference in the center of town, but the high school and South Bow will need other towers to bring them within coverage areas, she said.

For years, Bow residents have lamented the town’s poor cellular coverage, and the area’s hilly terrain exacerbates the problem. Those residing in areas with spotty cell coverage often find themselves leaning toward windows to make phone calls, while others opt for using wifi for making calls.

The town has also approved a $6,000 budget for Isotrope LLC, a Massachusetts-based wireless communication company, to spearhead a new project to map out dead spots and develop a town-wide plan to provide better cell coverage to the residents. Once the report is completed, it will determine how many towers and where they should be placed to provide optimal coverage in Bow.