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by Sydney Atkins The Vermont Department of Public Service recently released an interactive map of Vermont’s cell phone coverage. The maps uncovered data that a majority of Vermonters already know and experience every day — significant areas across the state do not have mobile voice service.
Solving this issue is going to require new and innovative methods and technology. It will also require collaboration across a number of parties throughout Vermont. The rolling Vermont landscape and the dispersed, rural population make it challenging for large cell towers to find locations that are profitable enough to attract carriers to provide service. This challenge is exacerbated by the common desire not to mar the natural beauty of the landscape.
I’m the CEO of Mac Mountain, a newly formed Vermont business working to ensure wireless cell service can be accessed by everyone in the state. To get a full picture of Vermont’s cell service needs we are aggregating data across the census blocks, traffic data, crash data, as well as the FCC and Drive test maps. We will use this to create a more dynamic and accurate picture of where people live, work, and play across the state. Ultimately, this will help us identify where the most underserved populations are located, resulting in what we hope can be a holistic plan for coverage in Vermont.
Right now, Vermonters have the opportunity to check and correct their addresses on the FCC National Broadband Map. Feedback continues to accrue that the existing map does not accurately capture broadband and cell coverage across the state. I urge all Vermonters to verify the broadband service available at your address and file a challenge if the information on the map is incorrect. The data on this map will ultimately determine how much funding comes into Vermont to build out broadband access, so it is crucial that we take this step to get our fair share.
Go to fcc.gov/broadbanddata/consumers to make your voice heard.
I am confident that with the right technology, innovation, and collaboration, comprehensive access to cellular coverage will not be far away! We are all in this together.
Happy Holidays, Sydney Atkins, Killington, CEO of Mac Mountain.
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