Comcast Decides Maybe It Shouldn’t Have Put Those Ugly Metal Boxes In Historic Neighborhood

Image courtesy of (Tom Birch/

About a month ago, we told you about the uproar over the gray-green, refrigerator-size boxes Comcast apparently time-warped straight from 1953 to the sidewalks of D.C.’s historic Georgetown section. But things are calming down now that Comcast has decided to move that hardware underground.

According to the Georgetown Dish, all seven of the controversial boxes, which contain fiber-optic equipment intended to boost signals in the area, have been removed.

At issue wasn’t just the fact that the boxes were ugly as sin, it’s whether or not all the right people had signed off on their placement.

See, while Comcast had indeed been granted permits from the D.C. Department of Transportation’s Public Space Committee to put the boxes smack-dab in the middle of Georgetown sidewalks, the proposal hadn’t been shown at all to the Old Georgetown Board, part of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, which must give its okay on such changes.

“What we now know is that there’s another process,” a Comcast VP said at a recent public meeting, where she also apologized for all the crap left behind on the sidewalks by the people who installed the boxes.

The Public Space Committee still has no answer for why it skipped a required step in the approval process. Beyond that, we can’t understand why it never considered that the residents of one of the nation’s quaintest, historic, upscale areas wouldn’t be slightly mad about having a huge metal locker placed on their sidewalks.

“It’s a great outcome that these things, that were something of an eyesore in a historic district, have been removed,” the Fine Arts Commission said, presumably while putting on his three-corner hat and stepping into a horse-drawn carriage.

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.