Pandemic Expedites Temporary Tower After 15 Years in the Dead Zone

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UPDATE The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated concerns from residents living in a two-mile wide dead zone who are pleading with the Mahwah Township Council to find a temporary solution for cell service, according to northjersey.com.

In response, the Council will hold a special meeting this week to propose an amendment to its Wireless Edge contract to “aggressively encourage” carriers to sign on for a temporary cell tower at a local fire station. 

The Wireless Edge contract, approved in September 2019, stipulated terms for a permanent tower at the firehouse location, the best site to resolve the dead zone challenge, according to the township’s engineering consultant. Since last fall, the project has been bogged down due to a legal problem and a routine regulatory approval process. Now, with the need for a temporary solution, the Council is recommending a structure be installed on the firehouse property for at least two years.

According to Business Administrator Quentin Wiest, there are no details regarding what the temporary tower will look like, how tall it will be, or how much of the dead zone it will service. The temporary solution will require the installation of public safety antennas to improve communication for first responders, reported northjersey.com.

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