Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Town Without Cellular 2

Two and a half years years ago we discovered a town with no cellular coverage. At that time, we reported the small town of Victor, Colorado, an old gold mining town behind Pike's Peak, had no signal from any cellular carrier. This town was small enough to not have many residents, but it had a significant number of tourists...tens of thousands a year. Since then, only T-Mobile has grabbed the opportunity for exclusive service to the community, which also allows AT&T and other GSM roamers coverage.

This past weekend we visited the Nederland, Colorado Art Festival and found another town with the notoriety of no cellular service. The local predecessor to Verizon Wireless, Airtouch, had service there, but no more. AT&T's coverage viewer claims service there, but our AT&T phone was bar-less. This is a real town, almost 2,000 population, and is the first "suburb" in the mountains west of Boulder, Colorado. Alas, no coverage. There is some to the north from some carriers, and to the south with others, but not in town. This is also home of the popular "Frozen Dead Guy Days" Festival. Have they no respect for the dead? To add insult to injury, T-Mobile, who saved the town of Victor, claims coverage just west of Nederland at the Eldora Ski Area. However, there's no snow, and nobody home at Eldora.

We asked what happened, but locals claim the cellular carriers just aren't interested, and the carriers themselves claim they are 'looking into it.' It was frustrating carrying around several dead phones hoping one would come alive. The upside was that the little girls attending the local charity pop stand had time to give you their full attention, they weren't constantly watching their cell phone screens. I bet they get their homework done, too.


Anonymous said...

There are random spots of coverage around Nederland. Given that most of us who live on the backroads have no dream of ever getting cable or DSL for broadband internet access, microwave is unreliable depending on line of sight, and satelite providers limit upload/download bandwidth severely, I have to believe that wireless broadband is the way of the future. And if so, then Verizon and AT&T will become more interested in providing services to us up here in the hinterland. There has been talk of putting in a wireless tower that will provide better coverage to our canyon areas, but there's a big NIMBY factor to fight against.

Oz Andrews said...

To look around old mining towns like Nederland, you would think no one would care about additonal infrastructure, like a handy cellular antenna. However, I fear all of Boulder County is infected with NIMBY's who see fit to shoot themselves in the foot. The next time a family thinks of attending one of Nederland's festivals and dumping money into the town, the kids will say, "no, our phones won't work up there."

Anonymous said...

LOL and if people won't attend a Nederland festival because their phones don't work there I'm not sure many in Nederland will really care.