TELLURIDE – Subscribers to AT&T’s cellular phone service in Telluride should have already experienced some improvements in coverage and fewer dropped calls, thanks to several upgrades to the system, with an even bigger upgrade – a new cellular site – on the horizon.
AT&T Spokesman Alex Carey said Friday that the cellular service provider is “responding vigorously” to problems with dropped calls and lack of coverage in certain areas in and around Telluride. In an effort to make immediate improvements, AT&T has already installed what Carey calls a “carrier” at its Coonskin Road cellular site, adding capacity to the network and relieving caller congestion.
Along with that improvement, AT&T has added a temporary cellular site in downtown Telluride, which will also enhance its cellular phone coverage.
“We have taken a number of steps to improve coverage in Telluride, both in downtown and on the ski mountain,” Carey said.
And while the temporary cellular site in downtown Telluride is just that, temporary, Carey said a permanent fix is in the works. Working its way through Telluride’s approval process, AT&T is now coming before the town’s Historic and Architectural Review Commission, for permission to install a new and permanent cellular site atop the Elks Building, at 300 W. Colorado Avenue. Carey said the site will not be a “cell tower” on top of a building, but will look, rather, like antennas with shields on them. He added that these types of cellular sites are commonly seen atop buildings.
“It certainly won’t be an eyesore,” Carey said. “The new cell site will enhance everything we have done and will have a lot of impact on our coverage. Provided the approval process goes as we anticipate, we hope to have it up by the end of the summer.”
Carey said AT&T typically doesn’t disclose the costs associated with upgrading its network but said a typical cell site averages around $1 million.
“It’s a vigorous response to our customers’ problems,” Carey said. “We acknowledge what they went through, and we are talking steps to make improve the system.”