California Town Loves Their COW But Balks at a Full Time Tower

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Something strange happened at the most recent public hearing in Lakeport, California — when District 4 Supervisor Tina Scott mentioned the temporary cell tower currently being used in town, attendees cheered the mention of the structure.

“When I was in a meeting and they mentioned the temporary tower everyone clapped,” Scott told the Record-Bee. “I found this odd because the people in the city have been so against it.”

In response to recent flooding in the area, Verizon temporarily installed the COW in order to support emergency response efforts. Since placing the structure, the town has seen an uptick in voice and data traffic in the area. 

“A simple call or text message can make the difference between life and death,” Verizon public relations officer Heidi Flato told the Record-Bee. “Reliability starts when we choose the safest most secure locations available for our wireless equipment.”

In the past, public outcry has thwarted any hopes of building a permanent cell tower. The temporary structure has received support from local law enforcement and some district supervisors who view the matter as a public safety issue.

Flato noted that the support for the temporary structure highlights the town’s need for a permanent structure that can address wireless service year-round, instead of just during times of crises.

“A permanent Verizon cell site in downtown Lakeport would significantly reduce the need for temporary network equipment during a crisis, and would provide improved year-round voice and data services for residents and first responders,” she said.

March 24, 2017

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