Can you hear me now? |

Can you hear me now?

These lines were from a very effective marketing campaign to get people to switch to Verizon wireless awhile back. Not needed any more, coverage is so good — except in Aspen.

When will members of City Council and the county commissioners make the concerted effort to improve cell service in the upper valley. It can’t be that difficult. Go to any ski town in the Alps or out into the remote back country there and cellphone coverage is ubiquitous. Driving out of Aspen and calls get dropped right at the roundabout.

For some reason elected officials aren’t concerned. Maybe they never leave town (hmm, might explain some things!). Maybe they want some voters’ calls dropped? Did any moderator or press person ask about our third world coverage of any candidate at any of the election forums, public or private? Smartphones are expensive and so are the service contracts; they should work in a place that averages $550 a night for a hotel room and on the mountains where corn muffins cost $7.

Government does not have to prejudice cell companies in this upgrade. They can make all towers available to all networks.

Concerned about how new towers would look? How about placing statues of native wild animals implanted with cell antennas in their ears and mouths or carved into their paws and antlers wherever blatant holes of coverage thrive. Maybe one at the corner of Hyman and Cooper? The roundabout would be a good place, too. Imagine an elk up on hind legs enhancing the Entrance to Aspen. How about a black bear on the deck at Bonnies?

There are many solutions to this embarrassing annoyance but maybe, just maybe, elected stewards don’t want better cell service. Maybe they like answering that Verizon slogan with “No, we can’t!”

Bryan McShane


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