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.”