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Service on the slopes - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Service on the slopes

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FAYSTON, Vt. -

Mad River Glen is known for its tradition. Snowboarders aren't allowed, and for Verizon customers, cell service has been non-existent.

Burlington Resident Colleen McSweeney said Saturday, "I usually turn it off because we don't get cell coverage."

But that's changing. The resort installed a tower in a lift at the mountain's base, and Verizon recently brought it online.

Vermont visitor Greg Taylor commented, "I've got five bars so I can call somebody and tell people how good it is."

"I'll bring it up here definitely, but I won't bring it skiing with me, I don't think... Why is that ... Well, if I fall." laughs McSweeney.

Down in the valley, the reaction is the same, though service is still spotty. But it should improve, as another tower is due go online soon.

Chris Bowling of Granville said, "It means everything to me, before I couldn't get service anywhere but here at work and that's about it really."

Edie Connellee of Waitsfield, says the lack of signal forced her to switch providers.

"I had Verizon for quite a long time back through the 90's and into the 2000's and I had service, here in the valley at my house and then something changed." Said Connellee.

Her contract expires in a month, and says she may switch back. The Governor wants to see the whole state connected to high-speed internet or cell coverage by the end of this year. He calls it a development issue, but critics say it is a lofty goal.

At Mad River spokespeople say it's simply about customer service. The only down side, some skiers say they are disappointed though that they'll see more cell phones on the slopes.

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