I’m not sure exactly when the Keene Valley cell phone tower went up… but I do know there seemed to be a delay in turning it on.
One of the local businesses in the area even joked about printing up t-shirts that said “No, we do not know when it will be active!”… apparently in response to all the questions they were getting about it this summer.
Well, it is a good thing they didn’t put too much time into that effort, because the Keene Valley cell phone tower is now live!
Here is an image of the tower taken from below
As best as I can tell it fired up sometime around last Friday. On Saturday I was getting solid (full bar) 3G service all throughout the Keene Valley business district.
This is really good news (and let’s face it, long overdue) for people who work and live in Keene Valley, and for those who visit the area. Sure, now we’ll have to put up with some annoying and rude people who have poor cell phone etiquette, but I think it is a good trade off.
The tower was designed to blend in with its surroundings as much as possible. They did a fantastic job. In fact I challenge anyone who comes to the area, and who does not know exactly where the tower is, to try to spot it.
In fact, according to this article over at the Adirondack Almanack, the Verizon worker who finally turned the tower on couldn’t even find it!
So it is definitely not one of those much maligned “frankenpines” you see in some areas. Concerns about natural aesthetics and how man made objects interact with their surroundings are important here in the Park.
This is how the tower looks from Rt 73.
In addition to the obvious improvements to mobile communication, this cell tower now also represents another option for broadband internet access. And not just via smartphones. With a mobile broadband card or a Mifi device (that stands for Mobile wifi… get it? Mifi? Clever) 3G speeds are an acceptable alternative to the local cable offering in the area. Clocking in at around 1mb down and .5mb up we’re not talking FIOS speeds here, but that will get your average small business or internet user through the day.
Here in Keene I use the local cable offering as my main source of internet, and I use 3G service as a backup. Since I work remotely, I can never go long without a connection… so having the cell tower has been a big help during cable outages, including recently during Irene.
Improvements like this to our local infrastructure can only help attract young people and businesses to the area.