Urbana to weigh AT&T offer to screen street-side boxes

URBANA – The city council will consider approval Monday of an agreement with AT&T that would pay the city $1,500 for every cabinet box the company installs on the public right of way – money that could be used to screen the cabinets with bushes and plants.

AT&T is in the process of installing a new service in Champaign-Urbana, called AT&T U-verse, where customers would be offered all-digital programming and high definition television channels.

About 12 of the cabinets, called Video-Ready Access Devices, will be installed on the public right of way in Urbana neighborhoods this summer, according to Public Works Director William Gray. He said installation has not yet begun.

With the $1,500 per cabinet, the city could install "vegetative screening" if residents who live near the box want it, Gray said.

The council meets at 7 p.m. Monday at the Urbana City Building, 400 S. Vine St.

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