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New cell service and chance of better reception coming to Chemung County

BIG FLATS, N.Y. (18 NEWS) - Those living on Big Flats rural roads may soon get a boost in cell coverage. Blue Wireless is looking to expand into Chemung County with some new towers.

"I think that there are areas where cell service could be improved," Nicolette Wagoner, the Chemung County Planning Board Commissioner, said. "But it would be great if we had a comprehensive overview as to where the gaps in coverage are."
One of the proposed sites for a tower is off Hendy Creek Road, across the river, but just down the hill from another existing tower. So why have a tower near another?

"They could not use that because they have a specific area they needed their towers in," Ed Fairbrother, the Big Flats Town Supervisor, said. "That's what they proved to the planning board."

The tower could house another service.

"If another provider comes in and there's space on the those towers," Wagoner explained, "then Upstate Wireless/ Blue Wireless tower would be obligated to provide that space to another provider."

The same goes for the other new tower. That one will go between County Route 64 and Interstate 86.  The issue with that tower was its close proximity to the airport.

"There are some approaches coming in, but from my understanding is it did not meet into those approaches," Fairbrother said. "There was no recommendation by the FAA or anybody else with that."

While better reception is the goal, they also don't want the number of new towers to get out of hand.

"It would be great to have county-wide coverage. I think that we're all kind of at the point now where we're all a bit spoiled and we're used to having coverage everywhere," Wagoner said. "From a county perspective, what concerns is me that we don't know what their build-up plan is."

Fairbrother said tower construction should start within the next 30 days.

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