Cell Service Degradation in Gardiner/YNP

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Posted by SY ( on 09:34:04 07/03/13

If any of you who have Verizon cellular service have been in and around the Gardiner area over the past couple of weeks, you likely have noticed a degradation in your service. This came about as a result of the old Alltel tower being taken out of service by AT&T (who inherited a roaming agreement with Verizon when they bought Alltell several years ago).

If you live in the Gardiner area and have Verizon service, you should contact Verizon's tech support or customer service centers and complain about it. Until they generate a sufficient # of tickets on it, they're not going to be in a hurry to remediate the problem. Though supposedly they are in the process of engineering a new 4G tower somewhere in the area, they could easily bring in a COW to solve this problem in the near term.

This issue DOES NOT impact cell service inside the park in any way, however. NPS staff received the following notice from the Telecom Office regarding this issue:

"There has recently been some misinformation disseminated through several channels regarding the potential loss of Verizon service in Yellowstone as a result of AT&T (GSM technology) terminating their Alltel (CDMA technology) roaming agreement with Verizon (CDMA). Currently there are NO operating Alltel sites in Yellowstone. Verizon will continue to operate their facilities and equipment at Old Faithful, Grant, Mount Washburn and Mammoth.

The last operating Yellowstone Alltel site was located on Mt. Washburn and it was shut down by AT&T in 2010. Canyon Verizon customers noticed a significant decrease in service in the Canyon FCC license area. We have met with Verizon to encourage them to pursue FCC licensing to the south of Washburn in order to restore service to Canyon."

Notice that this also addresses the issue of service degradation in the Canyon area for Verizon customers that has been an issue for the past couple of years (which, apparently, Verizon has also been loathe to address in a timely fashion).

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