Saturday, January 19, 2013

Better Cell Phone Service Coming

Fairhope, Alabama

Grand Hotel

To improve cell phone (and wifi) reception in low lying areas along the bay (including the pier), the Planning Commission approved the plan of Southern Light Corp. to install 16 mini cell phone towers along street right of ways extending roughly from Fly Creek south to Mullet Point: five within city limits and the rest outside. Over 7,000 feet of fiber optic cable will also be installed. (The picture at right is one already installed at the Grand Hotel)

The towers will be regular wooden telephone poles with additional equipment at their base and an antenna at the top. All equipment will be painted brown on the pole and green at ground level. (Existing utility poles could be used; but the company spokesman though that may prove not  possible for technical reasons.) Verizon will be the cell service provider.

Several commissioners expressed concerns over how they will look -- and what adjacent property owners may think; but it was decided there was no practical way to ask for their input.

A representative for the company said the effort began when a company executive noticed the poor cell phone service at the Grand Hotel area.

Elsewhere, they have been disguised as plants, but it was decided not to do that here; Commissioner Clark said those just look to him like "telephone poles with artificial limbs."


Anonymous said...

Commisioner Clark must not be the one having the new tower placed near his property. Of course the towers with fake branches don't look like a real tree, but they blend into the environment so much better than another ugly pole. Please reconsider and require the branches. It blends in our community much, much better.

Anonymous said...

Is this for a particular provider (Verizon, Sprint, ATT, etc.)? Or will it benefit all? I have Sprint and the service downtown is horrible and also spotty around the Bay.

Publisher said...

City Planner Smith says he believes its compatible only with Verizon.

Anonymous said...

Ok thanks. It might be time for me to switch to Verizon from Sprint...

Mike Dudley said...

Call Ohone users along the Bay have some of the worst cell phone service in the world. The closest towers to provide only 2G service (SO WE ARE TOLD). This is tone age tech. I have better service in the Outback in Australia or on safari in Africa.

Anonymous said...

I have better AT&T service at the end of Orange St. Pier than I do at my house near the bay. That said, I too wish the city would invest in some kind of tower that blends in to the scenery or, at least, next to existing equipment, if they can't utilize what already exists. I *know* cell companies have the technology to blend towers and signal boosters into existing environments; they do it in cities all over the US already.