Residents of the Hamptons are spearheading a crusade to bring better cell coverage to the area, especially as city dwellers are escaping to the famous seaside amidst the pandemic. Page Six reported that at the helm of the operation is venture capital heavyweight Alan Patricof.
A 30-plus year resident of the Hamptons, Patricof recently took out a full-page ad in the East Hampton Star, urging residents to email the Town Supervisor and Planning Board Secretary, demanding better service. Of the issue, Patricof said, “This is a pain in the neck for everybody out here, and it does have serious security implications.”
The ad, signed by Citizens for Better Cell phone Service, outlines the scenario of a man who, while driving, suddenly feels a “sharp pain in his chest.” He reaches for his cell phone to call for help, but help never comes due to a lack of service. “We’ve had it up to here with horrible, nonexistent cell phone service,” reads the copy by advertising veteran Jerry Della Femina.
Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc admitted there’s an issue. “With the pandemic, we have a dramatic increase in our full-time population and a dramatic increase in the people working remotely and taking up bandwidth,” he told Page Six. “The system we have is really inadequate.”
According to Van Scoyoc, a temporary tower has been approved to fill one dead zone. The next step is to hire a “communications consultant to address the coverage issues in a comprehensive way,” he added. Van Scoyoc noted that residents had resisted “ugly” towers in the past. “If the community wants better coverage, they are going to have to support towers,” he said.