By Caroline Ryan & Dondre Lemon
Editor-in-Chief & Staff Writer
When students returned to campus from the Thanksgiving break, they found a new cell tower behind Hillwood Commons and across from WCWP radio station. The construction for the cell tower, which was installed by AT&T, began in mid-July.
Both AT&T and Verizon have operated their cellular services on the WCWP radio tower, but the radio tower did not accommodate the latest 4G LTE connection. “AT&T, has operated on the radio tower for years, but is coming to the end of its 3G usage limit Roy Fergus, director of facilities services, said. “Once all of the required equipment and systems have been established and are functional on the new AT&T cell tower, the existing/old truss lattice tower structure will be de-commissioned and demolished. The cell towers were duly vetted and approved by the local regulatory authorities. As part of this project, the WCWP radio antenna has always been scheduled to and will be attached to the new AT&T tower (a contractual requirement). At this time, this is the only official solution for the WCWP antenna,” Fergus said.
Students have had complaints regarding the cell service on campus. “The cell service on campus is exceptionally bad with service going in and out in a matter of a few feet or even just standing in the same place…on campus half the time I can’t place a call or send a text or Snapchat or do anything off the wifi,” Christopher Roerden a junior environmental science major, said.
“The cell service on campus is probably the worst I have ever seen. For example, whenever I’m in Pratt Recreation Center I always have a poor connection, whether it’s in the gym or the locker rooms,” Brian Cano, a freshman broadcasting major and member of the soccer team, said.
A pole that was installed this semester in the parking lot by Pratt Recreation Center is Verizon’s new 4G LTE tower and is also under construction, Jon Schneider, LIU’s director of public and media relations, said. “When both projects [the AT&T and Verizon towers] are complete, then students will have great 4G LTE connections” on both services, Schneider said.
“AT&T is excited to be building a network of the future on the LIU campus, to address the rapidly changing needs of students, faculty and visitors so we can deliver new and unique services quicker than ever before. This is part of our commitment to investing in and upgrading our network to help bring customers all the benefits they expect, including reliability, speed and overall performance,” a public relations representative from AT&T who requested not to be named said.