Cellco Partnership, acting on behalf of Verizon Wireless, has proposed building the self-supported telecommunications tower on Angel Drive South , about a quarter-mile south of Alabama 204, west of Jacksonville. The filed petition with the FCC said the anticipated lighting for the tower is of “mild intensity.”
Tax records from Calhoun County show Jeff Angel as the owner of the land where Verizon wants to put the new tower. Attempts to reach Angel on were unsuccessful. Attempts to reach representatives with Verizon, the FCC and third party tower owner and leasing agencies were also unsuccessful.
Jeff Kagan, a telecommunications analyst, said 10 years ago there were only a few cell towers dotting the landscape, but as smart phones have become integral parts of everyday lives, the demand for more towers has skyrocketed.
“They’re the ugliest, necessary things,” Kagan said. “No one wants a cell tower in their backyard, or to see them when they drive to work, or see them out their window when they’re doing their dishes. But at the same time, people complain when they don’t have cell phone coverage.”
According to FCC records, nine cell towers are registered in Calhoun County, but countless other towers for broadcast and communications also reside in the area.
Kagan said even in the most urban areas of the country, there are still dead spots with little or no coverage. And the only way to solve the problem is with more cell phone towers.
“In some places they’ve tried hiding them behind trees or disguise them to look like trees,” Kagan said. “They don’t really look like trees, though.”
Kagan said connectivity, not aesthetics, is the first priority for telecommunications companies, and some customers agree. Cynthia Cross, who lives near the proposed Verizon tower site on Angel Drive South, said her cell phone coverage is fair at best.
“I don’t mind if they’re putting a tower here,” she said. “I want better service.”
Staff writer Brian Anderson: 256-235-3546. On Twitter @BAnderson_Star.