Wireless coverage in the north part of town is adequate, but coverage in the southern half of Sherman, CT is dangerously lacking, reports NewsTimes.com. Homeland Towers and AT&T are working to address the problem with a 170-foot cell tower on Coote Hill Road. The tower and its six antennas would boost municipal radio coverage for emergency services in addition to providing wireless connectivity for use by the public.
“It’s a dead zone down there,” said First Selectman Don Lowe, describing the current situation in the southern end of town. “We had an accident a couple of years ago off of Durgy Lane and Route 37 that was particularly troublesome,” continued Lowe. “People were unable to call for help and someone had to run to a nearby house to make the call.”
Chris Fuchs, head of Sherman’s volunteer fire department, noted that although the town recently voted for new equipment, “All of this is heavily reliant on cell service. If we don’t have it, we can’t use it.”
Ray Vergati, speaking on behalf of Homeland Towers, said that a lot of thought went into choosing the right site, from both a service and a visibility angle. He said that balloon tests helped to identify a site that should cause little objection from residents. “It’s really a great site because of where it’s located and how the terrain is,” he noted.
With his 20 years in the telecommunications industry, Vergati said that he has seen a shift in public opinion regarding the construction of “critical infrastructure” cell towers. “It has become much more accepted,” he said. “I find that people and towns are much more in favor.” In Sherman, opposition voices were present, but scarce. “I have to have an interested landlord, the site has to work for the carrier’s network and I have to have access to the site,” said Vergati. “It’s a balancing act, and we know we can’t make everybody happy.”
“People look at cell towers differently than they did 10 or 12 years ago,” agreed First Selectman Lowe.