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On Cellular Service in Croton

August 4, 2008

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

So many people are anxious for improved cell phone service that I thought it would be helpful to provide the information I have on this matter.

To date, the Municipal Building has antennas on its chimneys that provide service for Nextel and Omnipoint (T-Mobile). This has improved service for users in the area covered by these antennas.

Nextel proposed a cellular tower at the southern end of the station Parking Lot well more than a year ago. As this is a Special Permit application, the Village Board referred it to the Planning Board for a recommendation. Since that time, the applicant has changed the proposed location of the tower to the north, putting it between the salt shed and DPW locations. In addition, more service providers have also joined with the Nextel application to be included on the tower. These additional carriers are Omnipoint, AT&T, and possibly Verizon and Metro PCS.

The Village’s consultant on cellular towers, RCC Consulting, has been working with the applicant to ensure that this arrangement is viable (i.e. no interference) and that the coverage maps and other information provided by the carriers is accurate, that all providers are in agreement with that information, and that discrepancies in the information provided are eliminated. The applicant has not returned with its updates on this information since the Planning Board meeting in May. Recent communications with the applicant indicate that they expect to be back on the Planning Board agenda in the Fall. The Planning Board will then reach a consensus on their recommendation to the Village Board. The Village Board will call a public hearing for comments before a decision is made.

A separate issue of interest is the progress of the Village’s franchise negotiations with Verizon on introducing FIOS to Croton. While the Village has been very receptive to having these discussions, Verizon did not enter into a discussion until a few months ago. On the advice of our Village Attorney, the Village has special counsel to help with these negotiations, Miller and Van Eaton, P.L.L.C. The parties have met several times and the Village is currently waiting for Verizon to take the next step to further these proceedings. While Verizon is already installing fiber optic cable in the Village, any franchise agreement will be subject to a public hearing before the Village Board prior to a decision. Actual implementation at the household level can take considerably longer as each house has to have an individual installation which can take up to 11 hours to complete.

— Ann Gallelli, Trustee, Village of Croton-on-Hudson

On May 24, 2009 7:00 PM, tony said:

i live on brook st, and half of the street has 3g cell service and my half doesnt it is so obnoxious, my roomates with t mobile get great service so i know its not the fact that im in a building

On August 9, 2008 8:21 PM, speedlaw said:

OK, this is not rocket science, just business. We have to play hardball.

Verizon has something we want. Cell Service. We have something Verizon wants, the revenue stream from FiOs and a residential area which will have a very high uptake of the new service.

Dealing with Verizon is like dealing with a large government. In a past life I litigated against them, so I have some idea of how they work.

Cue Lily Tomlin in Laugh in- “no sir, we don’t care…we’re the phone company…we don’t have to !”

No Cell service….no FiOs. Period.

Everyone here has cable or satellite TV. Cranks like me even get free HDTV over the air. DSL and Cable take care of internet. While FiOs is better, we don’t NEED it.

Verizon has charts of cell coverage with signal strengths. We will never see those charts, but as Verizon has been putting up cells since the service was authorized by the FCC in the 80’s, it is safe to say that all the low hanging fruit, signal-wise, is taken, and all that is left are nooks & crannies like croton.

Since this is residential, they don’t have great density, so this does not hit whatever target they want to put up a tower.

Verizon has not put an application into the Village, nor have they done anything except make nice noises to the town. We’ll hear only nice sounds from the minions of Verizon, unless…..

We make it clear that no TV signals will hit this village until there are some small cells put in. Phone companies push for huge towers because they cover large areas. Small cells are more expensive to run, so a phone company will avoid them. Still, we have a one time weapon to use…and we must.

I have lost money due to the lack of a signal here on Lounsbury Road. I’m sure I’m not the only one. I get that damned “beep” that I have a message as soon as I get down to the river.

Verizon has done nothing but B-S when cornered. Either they make a good faith effort to get a signal in the Upper Village or the Town does not allow all that pretty fiber optic to carry TV signals……

They will blink, but we have to be serious…….

Village Trustees, please make a note of this.

On August 6, 2008 12:00 PM, JimmyC said:

I just moved to Croton-on-Hudson, it’s a very nice quiet town- which is what we were looking for.

I started driving around town and noticed I couldn’t carry a conversation on my AT&T cell phone. Calls were being dropped, and in some areas I wouldn’t even get a signal.

I called AT&T to voice a complaint. I was really glad to read this blog to see things are moving (slowly) for a cellular towers in town.

Well I hope things move along and we have better cell service and maybe 3G

On August 4, 2008 9:15 PM, Mrs. Smith said:

Thank you for your update on this issue - I smiled this evening when I read an almost carbon copy of what you wrote, posted by Maria elsewhere on the web. She is beyond transparent.



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