Why hasn’t the hotly debated communications tower off Ledges Road done more to improve cell phone service in town?
It’s a question a few Ridgefielders — particularly Verizon customers — are asking.
D.R. Menn put it this way in an email to The Press last week: “There was a long and at times contentious fight to put up a cell tower to serve northern sections of Ridgefield. However, now that the tower has gone up, service for Verizon customers, and perhaps others, is still inadequate, with a dead zone at the high school and in and around Ridgebury and northern sections of Ridgefield.”
The issue was raised eight months ago in a petition on change.org that was signed by 637 supporters — many from the Twixt Hills neighborhood that the tower overlooks.
“A new cell tower was installed at the northern end of the town of Ridgefield, CT. While Verizon claims that they offer 100% service coverage in Ridgefield, those of us that live here know that is not the case,” the petition read. “We would ask that Verizon lease space on the new tower in order to provide cell service to the north end of town.”
First Selectman Rudy Marconi, who pushed to get the tower built — even proposing, initially, that the town buy the land and rent out a small site as a tower location — said he still hears about it.
“On a pretty regular basis,” he said. “I’ve written letters. I’ve made phone calls. And I’ve gotten no response. Obviously, I have to figure out another route into Verizon.”
There was a time …
Danbury-based Homeland Towers planned and built the tower off Ledges Road, and there was an expectation that Verizon would be among the cell phone companies to take advantage of its potential to improve service — especially in northern Ridgefield’s dead zones, which, troublingly, include the area around the high school and its playing fields.
“They definitely were going to be a part of it,” Marconi said. “And then we were told it was going to be in the budget the first year, but it didn’t make it. And the second year, it didn’t make it.”
“There was a period of time when Verizon had the best coverage in town,” Marconi said. “And now I don’t know if we can say that. Both AT&T and T-Mobile are now located on that tower, which has improved the level of service greatly.”
‘Give us a call’
Attempts by The Press to get Verizon to discuss the issue resulted — eventually — in a conversation with someone who “for security reasons” would identify herself only as “Courtney, in technical support.”
She suggested the customers register their concerns with Verizon’s customer service department at 1-866-221-4096.
“Please encourage them to give us a call. That would be much appreciated,” she said.
“This is a service-related issue. We really want to know, because we want to provide the best service out there.
“The more people calling about this issue, the faster it will be corrected.”
Homeland Towers did not return calls for this article.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story had the incorrect phone number for Verizon