AT&T to join Verizon on Arkville cell tower

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By Joe Moskowitz
After years of lagging behind more densely populated communities, there is about to a major improvement in area cell phone service, particularly in Arkville and Margaretville.

In November 2012, SBA Communications of Boca Raton, Florida constructed a cell phone tower located above county Route 38 in Arkville. Because of the steepness of the terrain, it is visible form many locations, except from county Route 38.

Verizon has leased space on the tower and has installed its antennas. Verizon’s service will go on line as soon as electric power is available. Verizon is the nation’s largest cell phone company.

And soon, the second largest cell phone carrier will be joining Verizon on the Arkville tower. The Catskill Mountain News learned this week that AT&T also plans to lease antenna space from SBA.
The AT&T project engineer, who asked to remain anonymous for now, told the News Tuesday that his company and SBA had reached an agreement, but that there was some initial confusion over the location of the tower and also if there was enough room on the tower for their antenna. This week, after personally locating and inspecting the tower, he said the project will be approved. AT&T subscriber cell service reception should begin sometime this spring.

For now, most cell phone service in Arkville and Margaretville is possible because of a cell on wheels or COW. It’s a portable transmitter that has been in place ever since the aftermath of Hurricane Irene and has been a service provided by Margaretville Telephone Company (MTC).