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Officials don't have answers for upstate cell phone dead zones

Apr 26, 2023 12:51 am

Joshua Solomon reports in the Times Union that several recommendations from a 2021 state-commissioned report about the lack of cell phone coverage in parts of upstate New York have gone ignored or are only slowly being adopted. The 74-page report from the “Upstate Cellular Coverage Task Force” recommended leveraging federal and broadband funding to eliminate cellphone service gaps, and work on getting more grants to fix cell service. But local Republican state Senator Jake Ashby said, “Everybody has said for years there needs to be an efficient public-private partnership.... Clearly, that hasn’t happened and it’s time to stop making excuses and get this done.” Gov. Kathy Hochul's office said officials are working to use a $1 billion federal investment in broadband services to “alleviate cellular coverage challenges in upstate regions.” New York Senator Chuck Schumer was in Utica earlier this month where locals, he said, are at their “wit’s end with a cell phone dead zone that seemingly can’t get fixed." Schumer said he was there to, “turn up the volume a little on Verizon in hopes that they get the message, hear us now, and fix this problem.” Read more about this story in the Times Union.

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