AT&T’s Withdrawal Application Under Review

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Recently, AT&T made an announcement stating that they are suspending plans for Short Hill facility. The telecom giant has sent a letter regarding withdrawal of the commission permit application to make a 3.5-acre facility extension at Short Hill Mountain in Loudoun County, Virginia.

The letter was written by Scott Rushin, Principal technical Architect of AT&T, and addressed to the Director of Loudoun County’s Department of Planning and Zoning. The announcement came a week ahead of the Board of Supervisors proposed meeting, in which they were supposed to make a decision on the transmission facilities expansion in Short Hill situated on the ridge between Lovettsville and Hillsboro.

The project, which had already brought enough attention, has sparked widespread distrust among the people now. People were asking all sorts of questions like whether it is a datacenter or some sort of top-secret government security facility.

In reply to the rumor, Rushin said, “Contrary to speculation” the facility was “not a data centre”. The company’s upgrade would have never converted the area into one such facility. He also added that the facility is “vital part” of AT&T’s telecommunication network. This could have given residents and businesses of Loudoun County an opportunity to receive entertainment, high-speed internet, WI-FI, and “eventually, enhanced wireless broadband services.”

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AT&T has been in Virginia since 1897 and its 400 employees are benefiters from Loudoun alone. The company has invested around $89 million from 2013 to 2015 in the Loudoun County.

Supervisor Tony Buffington and Geary Higgins of R-Blue Ridge and R-Catoctin supported the withdrawal in a joint statement, and said, “The decision is in the best interests of the county and preservation of Short Hill.” They further said that the planning commission’s approval in April “ultimately did not provide adequate protection of Short Hill or preservation of the rural character of the rural policy area.”

“Given this recent development, the Board of Supervisors will entertain a motion to not affirm the action of the Planning Commission based on the withdraw of the application,” they added.

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