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Regional News

Schumer: Too many 'dead zones' in cell coverage in upstate NY

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Office of U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY)
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Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) is releasing details of a crowdsourcing survey he has taken of his constituents, to show what he says are too many "dead zones" for cell phones throughout the state.

Schumer says upstate NY residents have reported more than 4,000 cell phone dead zones scattered throughout upstate.

Schumer says this is happening despite the fact cell phone companies are reporting full coverage in some of these areas.

“Despite major network carriers advertising full coverage on their maps, actual service in many areas across Upstate New York routinely performs poorly, when it comes to network speed, network reliability, data performance and more," said Schumer.

He says this is more than just an inconvenience.

"Imagine, God forbid, if you’re in some sort of accident and you need to call an ambulance and there’s no cell phone service there," he said. "In addition to communicating, wireless services support many GPS products that are essential to residents and tourists who are looking to explore the area.”

The senator says his survey shows about 4,800 reports of "dead spots" from cell phone customers, including more than 1,000 in central and northern New York and the Finger Lakes regions.

Schumer says he'll be contacting the major cell phone carriers to ask them to deal with this issue, and he says he'll work with the FCC to get improvements if necessary.

AT&T issued this response to Schumer's comments:

We place the highest priority on taking care of our customers and providing fast, reliable connections. We are currently reviewing the data provided by Sen. Schumer’s survey and comparing that to our own internal data, which we constantly gather and analyze. This includes regular and statistically valid drive testing, direct customer feedback using our Mark the Spot app, and cell site stats – all designed to help us enhance our coverage.