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AT&T improves cell service in county

AT&T cell phone and broadband users in Unicoi County will now receive additional coverage thanks to the activation of a new cell site in the town of Unicoi.
The new site is located eight miles south of Johnson City and enhances wireless broadband coverage not only to the town of Unicoi, but along Interstate 26 between Johnson City and Erwin to Limestone Cove Road and Marbleton Road.
“It’s great news to see a local provider like AT&T investing to boost wireless coverage in Unicoi County,” said state Sen. Steve Southerland. “This new tower will increase public safety and help improve wireless convenience as more and more of our citizens rely on their mobile phones.”
AT&T officials have worked with town of Unicoi leaders for several months, since the implementation of the cell tower began nearly two years ago by Pegasus Tower Co. Unicoi Mayor Johnny Lynch was pleased on Wednesday to know the cell site was now active and residents in the town with AT&T service will now experience enhanced coverage.
Unicoi City Recorder Larry Rea said up to six different cellular service providers can hook onto the tower. Leaders are working on a letter-writing campaign to Verizon to request that company join the tower. Rea invited citizens to write Verizon and express an interest towards this effort. Send letters to Verizon, Attn: Bill Callahan, 575 Hickory Hills Boulevard, Whites Creek, TN 37189.
As an AT&T customer, Rea said he has personally noticed the signal is much stronger in Unicoi and said on behalf of the town, that leaders were happy to help assist in bringing better service to the citizens in the town.
The change also helps travelers on I-26. Prior to this, drivers could experience dead spots or have calls dropped and signal return just seconds later.
From 2006 to 2008, AT&T’s total capital investment in its wireless and wired networks in Tennessee was more than $1.2 billion.  The new cell site is part of AT&T’s ongoing efforts to drive innovation and investment to deliver the benefits of smartphones and mobile broadband for customers. More smartphone customers have chosen AT&T over any other U.S. competitor, and AT&T is committed to driving continual enhancement of network capabilities to meet these customers’ ever-growing mobile broadband needs.
“A strong telecommunications infrastructure is key to the economic vitality of our communities,” said Alicia Summers, director of the Northeast Tennessee Valley Regional Industrial Development Association. “This investment in wireless connectivity will benefit Unicoi County by creating new opportunities for residents and business owners.”
“Our goal is pretty simple: we want you to have an extraordinary experience when you make a call, check e-mail, download a song or video, or surf the Internet on your AT&T device,” said Gregg Morton, president, AT&T Tennessee.
For more information about AT&T’s coverage in Unicoi County or anywhere in the United States, consumers can visit www.wireless.att.com/coverageviewer/.
The online tool can measure the quality of coverage based on a street address, intersection, ZIP code or even a landmark. For updates on the AT&T wireless network, visit www.att.com/networknews.