Monday, September 24, 2012

Milestone adds 90 new tower Sites to Virginia land bank


Milestone is pleased to announce the addition of 90 new locations in  Virginia,  bringing Milestone’s land bank to over 850 potential locations for wireless infrastructure development.

The Marketing and Management agreement with the Rappahannock Electric Cooperative “REC” gives Milestone the exclusive rights to market REC substations for tower development in 22 Virginia counties. REC also maintains more than 16,000 miles of power lines, ranging from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Chesapeake Bay. The REC provides electricity to over 155,000 connections.

Robert Ellis, VP Engineering for REC stated,  “The Rappahannock Electric Cooperative is pleased to be working with Milestone to bring better wireless connectivity to our communities, while using our land resources to generate additional revenue for REC members.”  

Ben Lomond Park “Tree Pole” completed in Prince William, MD

Milestone's newest tree pole in Virginia
Milestone completed construction of a 108’ tree pole tower located at the Ben Lomond Park in Manassas, Prince William County, VA. The new “tree”, manufactured by Summit Corp., is the fourth tree pole built by Milestone and the first tree pole in Prince William County.

An important part of the approval process was the outreach to the community. Milestone developed a special web page and invited the community to use the  web page to select the type of pole they preferred to be built at the park. The Tree pole was the most popular choice and construction began shortly after zoning approval.

T-Mobile customers will be the first to benefit from better wireless coverage. The tree pole has space for 4 additional carriers to co-locate and bring better wireless coverage to Prince William County.

Milestone is proud to celebrate its 12th year as a  partner with Prince William County, during which  it has constructed eight wireless towers on land owned by the Prince William County Park Authority. 

Milestone CEO completes toughest bike race in the world

Milestone’s CEO and President, Len Forkas, competed in the Race Across America last month, cycling 3,000 miles in 11 days, 4 hours and 47 minutes. Below are his thoughts on completing one of the toughest athletic challenges in the world.
Len and his Race Across American crew

Last month I competed in the 31st annual “Race Across America” (RAAM), solo bike race between Oceanside, CA and Annapolis, MD on June 13th.   I have been competing in various endurance events to raise money for Hopecam, a charity I founded 10 years ago. Hopecam helps homebound children battling cancer connect to their school friends with web cameras to cope with the loneliness and isolation associated with treatment.  I had two goals – the first was to raise $150,000 to reach more children by broadening the geographic area that we serve– the second was to finish the race within the 12 day deadline.  

The race is considered the toughest bicycle race in the world; It’s a third longer than the Tour de France in half the time.  I assembled a crew of 11 volunteers (bike mechanic, nutritionist, paramedic, massage therapist, navigators and drivers) who sacrificed weeks of vacation time away from their families to support me.  Their unselfish contribution of time, energy, skill and commitment gave me the motivation and necessary resources to endure the challenges that faced me, and there were many. 
The weather was hot and dryer than normal and the race took more time than I anticipated.  There were parts of Kansas that were hotter than the Mojave Desert and I encountered 25-35 mph cross winds and not one drop of rain the entire trip. 

During frequent low points during the journey, the children using Hopecam were my inspiration as I dedicated each day’s ride to a different child who participated in the program.  I often had the opportunity to phone many of the children during my rest breaks, and I received over 500 email messages that were read to me by my crew at night over the loudspeaker atop the van supporting my ride. Many asked if there was a time during the race when I felt like quitting.  With so many children, donors and crew members counting on me, the thought of quitting never entered my mind
In the end, I finished the race in 11 days, 4 hours and 47 minutes, placed first in my age group (50-59) and 10th overall in a field of 46 athletes who represented 20 countries.   We more than doubled our fundraising goal raising $320,000.   Thanks to the generosity of my crew, family, many friends, and business associates in the real estate and wireless communities, we exceeded our goal allowing Hopecam to help many more children and expand our geographic area. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Milestone attends VACo and VSBA Conventions

Last month Milestone had the pleasure of exhibiting at the Virginia Association of Counties (VACo) annual convention and at the Virginia School Boards Association (VSBA) annual convention. Milestone currently partners with both organizations to bring revenue sharing opportunities to their members.

The VACo conference was held at the Homestead in Hot Springs, VA. Milestone sponsored the event’s hotel key cards (pictured right).

At the VSBA conference at the Williamsburg Lodge in Williamsburg, VA, Milestone hosted a “R_U_Social?” booth to help convention goers sign up for social media accounts. A lucky raffle winner, took home an iPad for “liking” the Milestone Communications and VSBA facebook pages. Milestone is looking forward to continuing to participate in both conventions next year.

Milestone holds panel discussion on wireless infrastructure

Milestone was invited to host panel discussion on the benefits and the challenges associated with wireless infrastructure programs on school land at the Virginia School Boards Association’s annual conference last month in Williamsburg, VA.

The panel consisted of Fairfax County School Board Member Stuart Gibson, Fairfax County Public School’s Director of Administrative Services, Lee Ann Pender and South Lakes High School Principal, Bruce Butler.

Milestone has been developing and managing wireless infrastructure facilities on FCPS land for over 10 years and generates over a $1 million in recurring revenue for the school system.

School Board Member Stuart Gibson discussed the political risks associated with a tower program. He said Milestone does minimizes political risks by being transparent and providing factual information to the community during the zoning approval process.

Principal Bruce Butler talked about the “invaluable benefits" from the revenue tower brings to his school.

“We decided to hire a private company because we didn’t have the expertise or the staff time to run the program in house,” said Lee Ann Pender.

Milestone will be hosting a similar panel at the National School Boards Association Convention next April in Boston.

Herndon Wireless Tower to be completed in January

Milestone gained approval for a 125’ light pole replacement wireless pole at the Herndon Middle School in the Town of Herndon, located in Fairfax County.

The application was approved 6-1 by the Town Council. The Herndon Architectural Review Board unanimously approved the tower last month.

”I agree with moving forward. I think this is just the way of the future,” said Town Council Member, Lisa Merkel, during the public hearing.

Milestone filed the application after successfully gaining the approval for a zoning ordinance amendment, which allows for the construction of new wireless facilities on public land.

The proposed tower will enhance wireless coverage for AT&T customers and has capacity for three additional carriers.

“It’s about moving Herndon forward in economic development. Who would want to live in a town or operate a business (in a town) that can’t get good wireless,” said Barbara Glakis, a Town of Herndon resident who testified at the hearing in support of the application. Tower construction is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2011.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Milestone Signs Master Lease Agreement with the Government of Frederick County, MD

Milestone Communications is pleased to announce that it has executed a Master Lease Agreement with the Government of Frederick County, MD, adding over 100 new locations where wireless towers can be built. This will be Milestone’s 15th partnership in the metro Washington region. Milestone has over 900 locations where towers can be developed in MD, VA and SC.

The new Frederick sites include County parks, libraries, police and fire stations and, 12 water tanks located throughout the county.

“What makes these locations attractive to our wireless customers is that towers are an “allowable use” on many of the government locations under the zoning regulations,” stated Len Forkas, Milestone’s President. “This feature cuts in half the normal time to deliver a new tower with less risk for our customers.”

The agreement was approved by the Frederick County Board of Supervisors last month. “Using government assets to help create revenue for local governments is a no brainer,” said former County Executive for Montgomery County, Doug Duncan.

Frederick is one of the fastest growing municipalities in Maryland and the potential to enhance wireless infrastructure is significant, since a large area of the county has sub par wireless coverage.