Archived Story

Cell phone tower solves small-town problem

Published 12:15am Tuesday, September 28, 2010

AT&T will hopefully be raising the bar in Alexander City soon.

As reported by The Outlook last week, AT&T and Foresight LLC are planning to build a new cell phone tower near Hillabee Cemetery, pending approval from the city council, and I couldn’t be more excited about it.

I can’t tell you how many times my beloved iPhone has lost service simply walking from the front to the back of my apartment. Or how many times I’ve been asked why I didn’t answer a phone call I never knew was attempted.

Andy Rotenstreich, a lawyer representing AT&T and Foresight, told attendees at last week’s city council meeting that the proposed tower would help fill in gaps in AT&T’s coverage. And there is definitely a large gap.

Prior to moving to Alexander City a couple months ago, I thought I was prepared for the poor cell phone coverage I knew existed. I knew that my service had the tendency to cut in and out at work, and I’d heard coworkers who also use AT&T complain about its lack of service. However, it didn’t quite prepare me for the annoyance I would experience upon constantly seeing one bar or the words “no service” on my cell phone screen.

It didn’t take me very long to figure out certain spots in my apartment where service does seem to work most of the time, but who wants to always keep their phone in one certain corner of their living room, or on their nightstand?

I don’t only want to see the tower built only for selfish reasons though. Rotenstreich noted that the gap in coverage also means a gap in the area’s 911 coverage, and cell phone service is the last thing Alexander City residents should have to worry about in times of an emergency.

Hopefully the council will decide to allow the companies to build the tower at its next meeting scheduled for Oct. 4. The planning commission has already given its approval for the project, and Rotenstreich said they will begin working on the tower as soon as the council gives its approval.

I, for one, am tired of asking people: “Can you hear me now?”

Natalie Nettles is a reporter for The Alexander City Outlook.