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Two years ago the Geneva Shore Report wrote about the results of an in depth investigation about what was happening with cell phone coverage in the greater Geneva Lake area. It was determined, prior to this investigation, that the many complaints of citizens had some validity. Calls made using all the cell phone carriers were being dropped or had such poor coverage in some areas that using land lines was an absolute requirement. If coverage wasn’t dropped, then it was terrible in quality whenever anyone using a cell phone ended up in a low-lying area (like Big Foot Beach or many others).

Thousands of dollars were spent, and hundreds of man hours put in, by Geneva Shore Report investigators and contract engineers. Thousands more was spent on detection equipment. The results of that investigation were published by the GSR. Every cell phone tower in Lake Geneva proper was non-functional (9 of them). Every cell phone tower for every company was inoperative all the way from Elkhorn (AT&T) to Hebron (U.S. Cellular). Any functional towers were even farther away. How could that have been? It was discovered that each tower cost just about a thousand dollars a month to provide electricity to. The original cost of building all the towers was absorbed by the United States Government, under contract to get cell phone coverage to low profit rural areas of the country. Nowhere in the contract GSR investigators poured over, was any requirement that the towers built by the government, and then given to the cell phone companies, had to be turned on.

The cell phone companies got together (in violation of federal law) and started turning off all towers they deemed not required to give “adequate” coverage. The savings in electricity expense alone has amounted to hundreds of millions of dollars over the years. The other intended result has been terrible cell phone service to the rural areas of America. Well, U.S. Cellular was paying attention to our story. They turned on their tower, located in Town of Linn. Then they turned them on all over the country. Then they started advertising that they were the rural cell phone carrier. And now they’ve come through locally by installing a team of service and sales wizards at their office up by Piggly Wiggly. U.S. Cellular bought into the story the Geneva Shore Report ran, and believed what the investigation revealed. They remain the only cell phone carrier around Lake Geneva to have one of their towers active.

Trade in your other service and find out for yourself. A year of cell phone heaven has been the GSR experience, with a dozen business cells in circulation. None of those old dropping or broken connections. None! And locally for Christmas the GSR recommends the U.S. Cellular experts on call to take care of their customers. Go in there, and then write a letter to the editor. It’s going to be a good one. And no, the owners of stock in the GSR own no U.S. Cellular stock, or make any money from promoting this company over the others available. It’s all about doing what works and then going with the class act when it tops that performance by providing great local service that’s also friendly as hell.

This is Southern Wisconsin, and Lake Geneva in particular, where being nice is part of the bargain, and straight across the table honesty is accepted as the normal. If you spend all your time in Chicago or Milwaukee, then go with one of the other cell phone companies, or stay with them. But if you are a Wisconsin resident who lives in a rural area, or anywhere else rural, then you only have one place to go. This Christmas, thank the lord that this place exists, and it’s called U.S. Cellular. You won’t be sorry.

Merry Christmas.

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