The Day – New deal could boost cell phone service coverage in South New London

New London — The city is finalizing a deal with AT&T that would lead to the construction of a new 80-foot cell tower, nearly doubling rent payments to the city and potentially boosting cell service in south London. the city.

Last month, City Council authorized Mayor Michael Passero to negotiate and sign an agreement with New Cingular Wireless PCS LLC for a cell tower at 25 Lower Blvd., behind the city’s Fire Department South Station.

The tower would replace the existing 60-foot tower currently leased to T-Mobile. City attorney Jeffrey Londregan told council earlier this month that the city is receptive to the idea of ​​a new tower and that the deal comes after protracted negotiations and a apparent agreement between AT&T and T-Mobile.

The idea would be to build an 80-foot tower with an AT&T antenna at the top, with T-Mobile keeping its place at 60 feet. Londregan said there are opportunities for other operators to negotiate the placement of their antennas on the tower.

Cell phone service in parts of the city’s south, including Ocean Beach Park, has historically been spotty.

Ocean Beach manager Dave Sugrue said he welcomes any improvement in service at the beach, which sees 6,000 to 7,000 visitors a day during the summer. “It would be a big help for us,” he said.

Ocean Beach hosts what it called a Verizon-leased mini-tower that serves the immediate park area.

The terms of the city’s initial five-year deal with New Cingular Wireless, owner of AT&T, would include payments to the city of $2,500 per month. The initial agreement is for five years, with automatic renewal of five-year agreements.

The current rental agreement with T-Mobile shows that the city currently receives $1,600 per month.

Passero, who lives in the south of the city, said cell phone service in his area has improved over the years and he no longer has to go outside during phone calls.

The timeline for the installation of the new tower is unclear and a representative from New Cingular Wireless could not be reached for comment. The Connecticut Siting Council has jurisdiction to approve new cell towers.

[email protected]

Comments are closed.