Melissa Bailey file photo

(Updated 4:22 p.m) Property owners and municipalities can rest a little easier today knowing that the Department of Public Utilities Control issued a draft decision requiring AT&T to seek their consent before erecting the refrigerator-sized V-RAD boxes on both public and private property.

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal applauded the DPUC’s decision Friday calling it, “a significant and solid victory for public safety and individual property rights.”

AT&T has been installing the new V-RAD boxes on utility poles across the state as it begins offering its U-Verse television service, which allows the company to compete with Comcast and other cable providers.

Blumenthal said the boxes installed near intersections caused a public safety issue for local leaders because the boxes obstruct the view of motorists. In city’s like New Haven they have also attracted graffiti, an issue the Elm City is working on with the company.

Christine Stuart photo

For private homeowners, the boxes proved unsightly and at times noisy, but at the moment if a box was installed on your property and you failed to write a formal complaint, the DPUC’s draft decision does not offer you much recourse.

Blumenthal said he will ask the DPUC to revise its decision to include homeowners that may not have complained about the location of the box in the past. “We will ask the DPUC to extend the consent requirements retroactively to all adjoining private property owners, not just any who object,” he said in a press release.

He said he also hopes the company adopts the DPUC’s requirement for smaller and fewer boxes, better landscaping, and prompt graffiti removal.

Meanwhile, “there’s no reason this should slow down the deployment of U-Verse,” he said. He said he welcomes U-Verse because it increases competition in the market.

AT&T has installed roughly 2,000 V-RAD boxes across the state, beginning last year.

Ramona Carlow, President, AT&T Connecticut, said, “We are pleased that the DPUC’s draft order issued this morning regarding AT&T’s Video Ready Access Devices will allow us to continue our effort to expand U-verse and bring competitive video and broadband services to consumers and businesses across Connecticut.”