Proposed AT&T facility in MD
- Today's (1/24/2000) Washington Post has an article about local objections
to a proposed AT&T "regeneration station" to be built near the intersection
of Broad Run Rd. and Catholic Church Rd. in Burkittsville, in western MD.
The article describes the proposed structure as a "37-foot-high building
with enough space to house 16,000 square feet of electrical equipment that
would boost the signal of a fiber-optic line carrying voice and data
between Washington and Saint Louis".
The facility would be built on the site of an existing 150-square-foot AT&T
fiber repeater hut. The print version of the Post includes a photo showing
part of the hut - it looks like a typical modern, flat roofed, precast
concrete telecom shelter.
The article implies that the new facility will be part of a new cable
route, to provide a backup to an existing parallel line, but give no
details about the route.
The proposal raises some questions. First of all, I understand the term
"regeneration station" to mean "repeater". Since repeater huts are small,
the new facility would appear to be much more than just a repeater. In
fact, a leader of one of the environmental groups opposing the project said
"We wonder if this larger facility doesn't really serve as a switching
station for the mid-Atlantic."
Which leads to another question: assuming that the facility is in fact a
switch, why would AT&T call it something else? In terms of environmental
impact, both types of facilities would seem to be about the same, so I
don't see any public-relations advantage in calling a switching station a
And finally, if the facility is part of a new, backup cable route, why is
it being built on the exact location of a repeater for the original route?
The Post article can be read at:
- Today's Washington Post (2/2/00, p. B3) reports that AT&T has dropped its
proposal to build a 16,000 square foot "regeneration station" in
Burkittsville, MD. The company said public objections were causing too
Instead, the facility will be built in an industrial park on Rt. 15 near
Frederick. That would be about 8 miles east of Burkittsville.