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If you drive or live in the northern part of Reading, you are painfully aware that cell phone coverage, reception, dropped calls, and usage is extremely limited or nonexistent. If you have students at the Birch Meadow complex…high school, middle school, etc…..you know that cell phone coverage there is terrible. People relying on their cell phone for business might as well forget about using it in the northern part of town. Remember Verizon used to advertise heavily with the slogan…” Can you hear me now.?” Notice that has disappeared? Forget 5G coverage….phones just do not work on their systems in major parts of Reading.
Think about the tragedy in Uvalde and the fact that students and teachers could communicate via cell phones with emergency responders. In Reading, forget using a cell inside buildings in the Birch Meadow complex schools during an emergency. It doesn’t matter what carrier you have, coverages are extremely poor. If you have an emergency, calls most likely will not happen from a cell phone in the northern part of town. Complaints by individuals to the cell carriers go unanswered. We hear that some blame the construction of the new water tower as being the culprit, but the problems have existed with Verizon and others long before the cell tower issues. Once he became aware of the issue, our new Town Manager Fidel Maltez promptly contacted cell carrier officials but came away with just the usual unacceptable hollow promises of fixes someday way down the road. Our Select Board has been contacted with the hopes that they will get engaged.
Now we understand that there is a potential article being proposed for the upcoming Town Meeting allowing the Town Manager to enter into leases at the new water tower. ANY lease without a total and IMMEDIATE fix in cell coverage should be rejected outright. Let’s be honest, the technology exists TODAY for the cell carriers to fix the coverage issues in the northern part of Reading IMMEDIATELY. But they blatantly refuse to address the issue due to a lack of motivation. If you have had issues with cell coverage in Reading or students at the high school etc., that you cannot contact via cell, please email the BOS at email@example.com and express your frustrations. Reading needs to get this problem fixed NOW, not next year. It is a public safety issue of top priority. Our students, teachers, and residents deserve better!
Frederick Van Magness