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The new AT&T tower located on Fayette St. Collegian|Stefan Kleinhenz

Hillsdale County Sheriff’s Office announced Sept. 19 on Facebook that the AT&T tower, which was scheduled to launch in December, started pro­viding cov­erage three months ahead of schedule.

Lieu­tenant Todd Moore said that the sheriff’s office was in contact with AT&T over dealings in regards to its first responder network. Moore said that they received an email from AT&T that said the tower was up and running.

AT&T said in a Sept. 21 news statement that the new tower will provide faster and more reliable wireless service in the area.

In the past, there have been well-known issues with AT&T in Hillsdale.

Sophomore Trevor Vogel was an AT&T cus­tomer last year, but switched providers.

“The service was ter­rible,” Vogel said. “It got to the point where if I wanted to use my phone I needed to switch providers.”

According to AT&T spokes­woman Teresa Mask, the tower should allow res­i­dents and employees who have AT&T as their provider to get better service on their mobile devices.

“With 4G LTE service, cus­tomers will expe­rience better network con­nec­tivity while streaming videos, sharing on social media or texting family and friends,” Mask said in the news statement.  

Over a quarter of Hillsdale res­i­dents use AT&T.  Mayor Adam Stockford said in an email that it’s long past due that the city has an oper­ating AT&T tower in the city.

“We might not be a met­ro­politan area, but we’re still a city, the biggest in the county, and it was unac­ceptable that we didn’t have usable service for one the biggest telecom­mu­ni­cation com­panies in the world,” Stockford said.

Stockford also said that he is excited that those res­i­dents will now have better service to keep in touch with friends and family, and have access to the emer­gency ser­vices.

Despite the new cell tower, junior Philip Berntson, a cus­tomer of AT&T, has not noticed a dif­ference in his cov­erage.

“Despite antic­i­pating the new cell tower, I have not noticed a dif­ference in service,” Berntson said. “I even forget they built the tower because nothing has changed.”

Sophomore Calli Townsend said she has expe­ri­enced better reception.

“I have noticed a pos­itive dif­ference in AT&T service,” she said. “I can actually make phone calls now.”