By 2020, Fort Tuthill, located in Coconino National Forest, may see improved cell service via a new tower and small cells reported the Daily Sun. According to county staff, poor cell service has negatively impacted special events and is a public safety concern in the park.
“Especially during large events, people complain they can’t make phone calls, text or bring up their digital tickets.
If someone needs to call 911 or something like that, you’re not guaranteed to get through,” Parks and Recreation Assistant Director Brian Grube said. As a stop-gap this summer, Verizon supplied a COW for use during major events, provided at no cost to the county.
The project to install towers began in the spring, and Verizon, T-Mobile, plus AT&T presented the county with various options. Verizon and T-Mobile expressed interest in building a 120-foot monopine, while AT&T proposed three small cells that will attach to existing light poles. Under the proposals, the county will not incur a cost to build or maintain the towers. The plan does include carriers leasing space on the towers, ranging from $1,200 to $5,000 monthly.
The county is presently negotiating the terms of a contract with carriers and is working to obtain necessary clearances, per the Daily Sun. If the towers are installed as planned, Grube said the park “would have really excellent coverage for just about every carrier we have out here.”
September 9, 2019