AT&T cell tower outages hit parts of Breckenridge
August 16, 2016
Some AT&T users have been unable to place or receive calls on their cellphones in parts of Breckenridge since last Tuesday, although text and data service were uninterrupted. Technicians were working on Tuesday on two malfunctioning towers in the area — one on Gibson Hill and the other in Beaver Run Resort — and hoped to resolve the issue by Wednesday morning.
Unreliable cell service has created headaches for Summit County residents and visitors in the past, and the popularity of extreme sports here makes the need for a strong cell network all the more acute. Last year, AT&T withdrew plans to build two more towers in Summit County, drawing the ire of county commissioners. The current lapses in coverage, which have affected swaths of the county's largest town, suggest more, not less, investment may be needed.
A technician working at the Gibson Hill tower — which had drawn far more service complaints than Beaver Run — declined to comment but noted that no alarms were going off, and the problem didn't appear to be critical. An AT&T rep who accessed the tower's service logs said it had probably been hit by something and needed a part replaced. The problem with the other tower was less clear, but records showed a crew had worked on it at 5 a.m. Tuesday.
An employee at the AT&T store in Dillon said older model phones, like the iPhone 5 and earlier models, had not been working properly since a software update was installed at the towers in the past few weeks.
Critical or not, the service outages created an inconvenience for people who found themselves getting voicemails from calls they had never received.
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"Fortunately, we've got a landline," said Del Bush, who uses an iPhone 5S and lives in the Monarch Townhomes off of Baldy Road. "We had debated terminating it the past several years, but now we're glad we didn't."
He says an AT&T customer service rep told him the problem would be fixed by Monday, Aug. 15, but he awoke that day still unable to make calls. Another Breckenridge resident reported being told that service would be restored on Aug. 18.
Jennifer Horne said she and her fellow residents of the Wellington neighborhood have had spotty service all week.
"Your call was actually the first time I heard my phone ring in a whole week," she said when contacted by this reporter. (Another call to her an hour later did not go through).
Her husband, who works from home, hadn't been able to place or receive calls on his Galaxy S3 all week, but, fortunately, the impact on his business was minimal.
"I can use Skype or Google voice," he said. "I just don't know if people have been calling me or not."
A public relations official for AT&T apologized for the inconvenience, acknowledging "temporary, intermittent wireless service issues." She said technicians were working to resolve the problem as quickly as possible.
Breckenridge doesn't have any service agreements with AT&T, but Kim Dykstra, the town's public information officer, said staffers were seeing whether or not they could file a formal complaint with the company.
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