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Phone company gets new Adirondack cell towers going

Phone company gets new Adirondack cell towers going

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JOHNSBURG -- AT&T Wireless Inc. activated a pair of cellular towers Tuesday that will provide its customers service along much of state Route 28 between North Creek and Warrensburg.

Local officials have for years been pushing for expanded cell service along the Route 28 corridor, a popular route for Gore Mountain-bound skiers.

"Every activation means better economic opportunity and improved lifesaving communication here in the Adirondacks," state Sen. Elizabeth Little, R-Queensbury, said in a prepared statement.

The two towers activated this week are part of a three-tower network the company has been building along Route 28 since last summer.

The push for cell service, which had been a hot-button issue for years, ramped up in 2007 after a snowbound driver on the Northway froze to death near the High Peaks. He was unable to call for help because he was in an area without cell service.

The Adirondack Park Agency has approved dozens of new towers following the widely publicized death.

Much of the cellular buildout, by Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T, has focused along the Northway corridor and in population centers like Lake Placid.

The agency still regularly grapples with the potential impact a tower could have on views from the roads, although APA commissioners have given agency staff more leeway in the permitting process over the last two years.

Some local officials have expressed doubt that large cell carriers would invest substantial resources in the park's less-populated central region, because the low numbers of people wouldn't make it financially beneficial.

"Our goal is for our customers to have an extraordinary experience throughout the Adirondack Park," said Robert Holliday, vice president and general manager of Upstate New York AT&T. "As part of the community, we're always looking for new opportunities to provide enhanced coverage."

 

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