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No, I Can't Hear You Now...

July 29, 2008

Crotonblog: Letters to the Editor, Croton-on-Hudson, New York 10520
To the editor:

I’d like to encourage people with AT&T wireless cell service to call and file a quality of service complaint with them. Croton-on-Hudson is practically a dead zone for cell coverage on AT&T—and the only way to hope for improvement is to file the complaint with them. 1-800-331-0500.

— Scott Cannizzaro

On September 23, 2008 5:08 PM, Tom Moore said:

September 23, 2008

Cell phone service could soon improve in Croton

Robert Marchant The Journal News

The reputation of Croton-on-Hudson as a black hole of cellphone calls, where service has been spotty at best, could be coming to an end in a few months.

A new company has come forward with plans to build a cellular tower in the village, taking over from a stalled proposal by Sprint Nextel.

Residents and motorists have often complained about the inability to use cellphones in Croton.

“Everybody has problems with cellphones around here, we hear it from customers all the time,” said a cabbie who works at the Croton-Harmon train station, George Dennis. “There are times when you need to make an emergency call, but it’s tough. Hopefully they’ll fix it.”

There’s a cellphone antenna on the top of Village Hall in Croton, but large sections of the community receive a poor signal.

Sprint Nextel had been going through the approval process with the village of Croton to build a 140-foot “monopole” near the village’s public-works garage, next to the Croton-Harmon train station, for the past two years. The Planning Board gave approval to the proposal, and the application still needs to be reviewed by the village Board of Trustees and the waterfront advisory committee.

Mayor Greg Schmidt said the merger between Sprint and Nextel had brought about a number of technological and corporate issues for the communications company, and plans to build the cell tower in Croton got “bogged down.” The village had given a one-year lease to Sprint Nextel while it went through the approval process, but that lease has expired.

A new company, Homeland Towers, has now taken up the application, and the village recently agreed to the switch.

“I’m excited this group has taken over,” said Schmidt, “People ask me all the time - when are we going to fix this?”

The police and fire departments in Croton have also endorsed the application, citing the need for better emergency communications in the village.

The proposed cellphone tower near the train station will loom large, but Schmidt said there didn’t appear to be public opposition and it wasn’t a residential area.

“The community hasn’t been fighting this,” he said.

Photos of the site where the cell tower will be built, with a crane showing how high it will stand, can be seen on the village’s Web site.

Schmidt said the application could be approved by the end of the year.

An attorney representing the proposal, Robert Gaudioso, said Homeland Towers was “very eager” to begin the work. The company would build the tower, and Sprint Nextel, AT&T and T-Mobile are listed on the application. They would install their equipment on the tower once it was built.

Hopefully this will be settled sooner then later.

On August 1, 2008 2:00 PM, Benedict said:

Some towns allow small antennas (antennae?) to be placed on the tops of streetlights or telephone poles. This is a much better solution than those huge ugly cell towers that are also cause for some health concerns.

On August 1, 2008 1:00 PM, waffels said:

One thing people are forgetting is that cell phone reception requires direct line of sight to be efficient. That’s why down at the river, and in the midwests open spaces there is good reception. Croton is very hilly and unless a tower goes on the highest point of Mt. Airy it’s sort of hard to accomplish “good” service. A cell tower at the train station would be great for the harmon area facing it but probably not great for the upper village, it’s a challenge. I’m told in Manhattan there are antennas all over the architecture of the city. Some disguised as Gargoyles on the sides of building all creating that direct line of sight for good reception.

On August 1, 2008 7:55 AM, scarlco said:

I have to second what ‘Meistergeek’ and ‘Tom Moore’ said… calling the cell providers will do no good. You need cell sites to provide coverage. Verizon and AT&T are helpless unless Croton allows them to put in a site.

On July 31, 2008 10:23 AM, crotonres said:

It is not up to Verizon to put a cell wherever they please. They need approval. So to stop FIOS service won’t accomplish anything. This is a town board issue and they need to approve a cell site and get it built.

The progress has been like mud. I have had Verizon for almost two years and before that I had Nextel. I remember Nextel sending many flyers out saying imroved service is coming. That was over three ears ago.

On July 30, 2008 8:50 PM, speedlaw said:

It’s bizarre.

A community with this level of average household income, meaning total cell penetration.

A very very high percentage of work at home types.

Yet I can rely on zero verizon service and a “beep” when the inevitable message is taken.

I drove across the Country. I can say we have less coverage than the great open spaces of Wyoming, and worse cell than Bozeman, Montana.

I was told that Verizon was interested in putting up cells on the Municipal Building.

I suggest strongly that we forbid Verizon turning on FiOs until the Cell gives us five bars in the upper Village.

On July 30, 2008 5:38 PM, Tom Moore said:

The Village has to allow cell towers.

I have a personel phone with Verizon and it does not work well.

I have a work phone with NEXTEL and I use to have to go down to the river to make calls, but I can now sit in my house and answer the phone.

The should have let a phone company put up a cell tower on top of the new firehouse in Harmon, but they stopped it. You can complain but until they put up that cell tower down at the train station, nothing is going to get better.

People don’t believe me when I tell them about the cell phone problems in croton. They asked me “where do you live in the woods”.

On July 29, 2008 11:00 PM, Meistergeek said:

This is not up to AT&T or Verizon. In order for the service coverage to get to an acceptable level in the Village, you need cell sites!

Try and search for this topic on Croton Blog or the Village’s website and you will understand why we are not moving forward to a solution.

This issue has been ongoing for several years, and the rationale for a sane decision (=better coverage) is still not any closer.

The fact is that in today’s world cell service keeps a majority of the Village taxpayers connected to work and family! This technology simply is a necessity and lack of service is no longer acceptable.

So don’t just call the cell service providers! Call the Village Manager and call the Village elected officials.

Ask them how this situation can be resolved.

Martin Mortensen

On July 29, 2008 5:45 PM, Storck said:

Like “crotonres”, I have Verizon as well and it stinks! How long must this go on? It would be terrible if someone lost their life because wireless service is non-existent in Croton (if it hasn’t happened already?). Call Verizon @(800)922-0204 and make some noise!!

On July 29, 2008 12:28 PM, crotonres said:

I have Verizon and the service is horrible also.


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