Coverage Claims Are “Grossly Exaggerated” In Rural Lake Region

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In the touristy Lake Region of New Hampshire, residents have seen a decline in Verizon coverage over the last year, reported The Laconia Daily Sun. Now, residents and officials are looking into towers to solve their service problems.

According to David Weissmann, Verizon’s media contact, it’s a capacity issue.

 “There’s coverage, and there’s capacity, and when the capacity is crowded, it can have an impact,” he said. Weissman suggested residents turn on WiFi calling to alleviate congestion on the tower.

However, The Lakes Region Planning Commission has been looking at cellular coverage and has found that the carriers’ claims are grossly exaggerated, per the Daily Sun. “They’re claiming 90 percent coverage, but we’re seeing 40 to 50 percent as a rough estimate,” said LRPC Executive Director Jeffrey Hayes. Although federal grant money is available for rural areas that lack 4G coverage, the Lake Region will not be considered if carriers claim they already have coverage.

The state’s Site Evaluation Committee and the Public Utilities Commission have found that New Hampshire is well under the carriers’ claims, Hayes said, and the planning commission’s testing for signals backs that up. Now, the FCC is looking into the matter.

“Adequate coverage is a huge issue,” Hayes said. “It affects us in many different ways  — health, public services, emergency response — it bleeds through almost everything.”

September 9, 2019

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