AT&T sues SF over installation of utility boxes

MIKE KOOZMIN/ S.F. EXAMINER FILE PHOTOLegislation approved by the Board of Supervisors allows for community members to paint murals on utility boxes and requires AT&T to pay $1

MIKE KOOZMIN/ S.F. EXAMINER FILE PHOTOLegislation approved by the Board of Supervisors allows for community members to paint murals on utility boxes and requires AT&T to pay $1

AT&T filed a lawsuit against The City and its Public Works Department on Monday, in which the company alleges that The City has willfully denied it the permits it needs to install 26 utility boxes.

The lawsuit claims that city and state law require San Francisco either to approve the permit for a utility box installation or approve the permit for another, preferable location. “Instead, respondents have denied multiple applications on the ground that installation at another location would be more appropriate — without approving installation at any alternative location, and sometimes without even specifying where the supposedly better location might be,” the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit also alleges that the city has failed to respond to 67 permit applications within the required 60 day period. According to the document, this "unlawful conduct has deprived many citizens of San Francisco of access to low-cost, competitive video and broadband services.”

However, citizens of San Francisco have also opposed the utility boxes and the Board of Supervisors recently approved legislation authored by Supervisor Scott Wiener that would charge the telecommunications company $1,632 for the installation of each utility box.

The legislation also imposes fines and requires box removal if AT&T repeatedly fails to remove graffiti from the box. AT&T has planned installing 700 cabinets — 4 feet tall, 5 feet wide and 2 feet deep — for its U-verse service.AT&TBay Area NewsGovernment & PoliticslawsuitPoliticsutility box

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at

Just Posted

Police Chief Bill Scott on Wednesday said a rebranding and reoganization of the former Gang Task Force amounts to “more than just the name change.” (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Faced with surge in shootings, Chief Scott reenvisions SFPD’s Gang Task Force

New Community Violence Reduction Team adds officers with community-policing experience

Stores including Walgreens and Safeway are required to pay their employees additional hazard pay under a city ordinance that is currently set to expire later this month. (Shutterstock)
Grocery workers could gain additional weeks of $5 per hour hazard pay

San Francisco will vote next week on whether to extend a law… Continue reading

The fatal shooting of San Francisco resident Roger Allen by Daly City police on April 7 prompted protests in both cities. (Jordi Molina/ Special to the S.F. Examiner)
Daly City approves body-worn and vehicle cameras for police after fatal shooting

Daly City officials on Wednesday approved body and vehicle cameras for police… Continue reading

Baseball Hall of Famer Willie Mays attends an event to honor the San Francisco Giants' 2014 World Series victory on Thursday, June 4, 2015, in Washington, D.C. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)
Willie Mays turns 90: San Francisco celebrates the greatest Giant

By Al Saracevic Examiner staff writer I couldn’t believe it. Willie Mays… Continue reading

Ja’Mari Oliver, center, 11, a fifth grader at Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy, is surrounded by his classmates at a protest outside the Safeway at Church and Market streets on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 in support of him following an April 26 incident where he was falsely accused by an employee of stealing. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
School community rallies behind Black classmate stopped at Safeway

‘When you mess with one of us, you mess with all of us’

Most Read