A San Francisco Superior Court Judge has ordered AT&T to stop installing 726 utility boxes in the city for its U-Verse service pending the outcome of an environmental impact study, according to published reports.
The San Francisco Business Times reported Tuesday that San Francisco Superior Court Judge Harold Kahn ruled that the boxes - which measure four feet high by two feet deep and sit on concrete pedestals - could have an adverse impact on the environment. Judge Kahn ordered a stay of the city's approval of the project. The stay was also reported by fiercecable.com on Wednesday.
While the stay will likely only delay the project for a brief period, it should come as relatively good news for Comcast, the incumbent cable provider in the San Francisco market.
A handful of community groups have objected to the service, with several filing a lawsuit in August to challenge a 6-5 vote by the city's Board of Supervisors, upholding a staff determination that AT&T did not have to conduct an environmental impact study for the project.
AT&T had planned to make San Francisco one of the first cities in California enabled with the U-Verse video, voice and data service in 2007. It is now the only major city in the state without U-Verse service, according to the Business Times.
As of the end of the third quarter, U-Verse had about 3.6 million customers nationwide.