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Southern Shores Planning Board approved tower expansion

Southern Shores Planning Board met briefly Monday afternoon in the Pitts Center on North Virginia Dare Trail and approved an American Towers LLC and Verizon Wireless application to modify a Conditional Use Permit.

Part of the request included extending the height of an existing flagpole style wireless tower at 148A Ocean Boulevard from 140 feet to 150 feet. The property is listed as being owned by Southern Shores Civic Assoc. Inc.

According to the application, the additional height and equipment is expected to help alleviate some of the bottlenecks in network connectivity that currently result in interrupted service and dropped calls for the area.

Following the meeting, Planning Board chair Elizabeth Morey compared telecommunications traffic to that of regular vehicular traffic here on the Outer Banks. Morey said the more cars there are, the slower they move and with cell phones it is the same. The more people making calls the harder it is to make them.

Currently the tower is designed to support antennas in three locations with two of them in use. Verizon intends to expand the tower’s capabilities to accommodate a fourth location with Verizon on two of them and AT&T and T-Mobile residing on the other two.

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