Web exclusive, April 28, 2011
Startup delayed on new Deer Isle cell tower
by Jonathan Thomas
Area residents have seen a new cell tower erected on Route 15 in North Deer Isle in the last several months. However, they have not experienced any improvement to their cell phone service and have been asking when the tower will be activated.
Cell phone users, current and potential, will have to wait a little longer. According to Susan Baranyi, spokesperson for AT&T, the company “continue[s] to track toward a summer activation date,” but cannot give an exact date because it is a “multi-faceted process.” Earlier in the year, the company had expected to have the tower in use by June 30.
The tower is owned by Global Tower Partners. AT&T is the primary tenant. Blaine Hopkins, who represented GTP in the permitting process, speculated that a possible reason for the delay was that the equipment AT&T plans to install at the tower is being upgraded to the 4G or “fourth generation” level before being delivered. Baranyi could not confirm this information.
Hopkins also said that another cell phone company had recently signed leases with GTP to locate its antenna below AT&T’s antenna. The name of that company is yet to be announced.