York Hill cell troubles slowly looking up

By on September 29, 2010

York Hill, home to the Crescent residence halls, the Rocky Top Student Center and TD Bank Sports Center, boasts state-of-the-art facilities. It does lack one thing, though: cell phone service.

According to Jim Trella, director of information technology project management, those who do not have Verizon wireless and are below the fifth floor of the Crescent don’t have cell phone reception.

Junior resident Brigida LoMonaco, an AT&T customer, said she must sit next to a window to receive calls.

“Someone will call. And my phone will just suddenly hang up,” LoMonaco said. “It happens daily.”

LoMonaco said she no longer uses her phone to call people, but she does receive text messages.

“The school paid a lot of money for these great amenities,” LoMonaco said. “But it comes as a concern that it lacks cell service, a necessity.”

According to Student Government Association (SGA) President Louis Venturelli, Quinnipiac is well aware of the situation and looking to solve the problem.

“As with any new campus, there are unforeseen problems,” Venturelli said. “But the university is pushing to get everything underway.”

It took over a year to persuade Verizon to put an antenna up, and they finally “lit up” mid-week before students moved in this fall, Trella said. A similar process is taking place at the North Haven campus, though it may take some time to finally figure out.

Verizon first went to the Wetlands Committee in North Haven, then to the town for approval, and now waits on the Planning and Zoning committee to meet in October. Verizon can light up immediately after the meeting if given the go-ahead, according to Trella.

In the meantime, junior resident Chris Nugent, also an AT&T customer, goes outside or to the upper floors at York Hill to make calls, as well as using the room phone.

“It is weird not to be able to talk to anyone in the comfort of my room,” Nugent said.

Nugent said he can text using an iPhone application and the school’s provided Wi-Fi service, “BobcatNet,” but admitted even that is spotty on the ground floors.

Trella said the university is doing everything possible. As soon as the school receives a commitment from Verizon, they will contact AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile regarding the contract to see if they can further reach an agreement.

“But it’s not cheap for them,” Trella said. “There is a major investment involved, and the service providers need to be assured that they will make a profit based on the amount of students on the campus.”

Venturelli assured that SGA, working alongside the University, “recognizes the concern and it will be diligently worked on throughout the rest of the year.”

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  1. Michael

    September 29, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    Please fix this problem quickly Quinnipiac, my iPhone is about as useful as a paperweight while I’m in my room.