Providing effective cell phone coverage in notoriously spotty San Francisco drives telcom executives to baroque political maneuvers as they site cell phone towers.
SF Weekly's Peter Jamison reported last month
how AT&T managed to erect a political force field around a tower in the Bernal Heights neighborhood. The company positioned its apparatus atop the offices of a leftist pamphlet, allowing the pamphleteer to pocket an estimated $1,500 per month, enlisting him as an ally against anti-cell-tower activists.
T-Mobile has apparently obtained political cover from a different source -- governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The company has notified the state Public Utilities Commission that it plans to install six 156-foot cell phone towers on a new dorm building at the University of California campus at Mission Bay, a site exempt from local meddling because it's on state property:
We can expect more of this sort of deviousness. If they continue with their dastardly plans -- placing towers on politically immune locales such as homeless shelters, blimps, federal property, consulates, and the domicile of every powerful liberal in the city -- they might horrify the anti-radio-wave crowd by producing the ultimate evil: cell phone coverage that actually makes the devices useful in San Francisco.