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Schumer asking for help to identify poor cell reception areas in state

Senator Charles Schumer
U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer said poor cellphone reception is a problem that touches all corners of upstate New York.

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY)is enlisting help from New Yorkers in identifying areas around the state that have poor cell phone reception.

In a conference call, Schumer told reporters that some carriers are misleading residents with maps that promise coverage in certain areas when, in reality, they are "dead zones" that drop calls. That can leave consumers stuck in a contract they signed with a carrier unless they pay a penalty.

"These coverage maps can be good for businesses, but if they exaggerate, it's tantamount to false advertising and it can really stick consumers living in those areas," Schumer said.

Schumer said those false promises can even endanger state residents, citing a recent bus accident in Sullivan County where responders were unable to get a signal.

"Dropped calls and spotty services can endanger citizens who are in an emergency situation and need to call 911," Schumer said. "They also hurt businesses and dampen tourism."

In response, Schumer is calling on New Yorkers to report areas with poor reception online. He hopes the list, which he plans to deliver to the Federal Communications Commission, will serve as a resource for consumers and prompt improved service from carriers.