Cell Service Coming to Northway - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Cell Service Coming to Northway

Along the Northway of New York - November 2, 2007

It looks like the cry for cellular phone service along the northern part of interstate 87 in Essex county, New York has finally been heard.

That section of the Adirondack Northway has a large number of dead spots where no cell service is available and it has been trouble in winter.    There were several accidents last year, and in some cases, the injured were not able to call for help. 

At least one man died and his widow said they tried to use their cell phone, but they couldn't get service.  Rescue crews also complained of poor service when a bus crashed on the Northway, killing several and injuring dozens of passengers.

Today, New York Senator Betty Little announced that three portable cell phone towers would be going up in about thirty days . The new service called COWS (Cells on Wheels) will cover a large portion of the Northway where there have been several fatal accidents. 

"Hopefully what it will do is improve the cell service between exits 29 and 31 which is the highest elevation on the Northway and where the roads change the most.  And it's also remote."

The state will lease the three cell towers on wheels and then cell service providers will be encouraged to connect to them.  They should be up and running by Thanksgiving.  But the permit for them will last only until next April.

It will have to be extended if the service is to continue through next summer, until the permanent towers can be erected and put into service, and that might take year.  Governor Spitzer has put one million dollars into the state budget for such cell service. 

Jack LaDuke -- WCAX News  

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