Verizon is, in our opinion, tied with AT&T as the most difficult wireless service provider (WSP) with whom to negotiate changes to its cell tower or cell site Lease Template. Their attorneys are mostly outsourced, and Verizon has dished out stringent requirements for what its attorneys can and cannot approve.
When it comes to site modifications, Verizon isn’t as transparent as we would like. It’s very common for the process to happen as such: You will receive a simple one-page letter stating that Verizon needs to make changes in order to “maintain its competitiveness and technological advantage”. Their letters almost always imply that said “changes” are being done in compliance with the Lease, and that a simple signature of consent is required to allow them access to your property. Unfortunately, it isn’t always true that the changes are implicitly allowed or are “in compliance” with your Lease. Of course Verizon doesn’t spell out that it might (or should) be required to pay fees for any changes. Rather, the carrier entices you to consent without question. We want you to know, that you can, in fact, gain an advantage in these equipment modification requests, and we have had ample success in providing property owners with the guidance they need to do so.
When you receive this type of letter, or any letter that requests access to the cell site, we would advise you to, at the very least, understand the specifics before consenting to any requests by the carrier, specifically since many modifications are deserving of compensation. For instance, if Verizon is doing more than simply replacing antennas, then it is likely making a strategic move. The addition or repositioning of antennas, as well as the extension of the ground space footprint, can easily affect the overall value of the cell site.
That being said, if Verizon has approached you as a potential tenant, we would highly recommend that you move forward without delay. Verizon’s site acquisition agents typically reach out to multiple property owners at the same time, seeking the best (which does not always translate into “the cheapest”) location that they can find that aligns with their specific engineering requirements and strategic objectives. If Verizon is interested in building on your property, you can bet that it has already done its due diligence, and feel certain that your property is valuable. Exactly how valuable is the question we can help with!