It’s now easier than ever to stay connected for people in Washington and East Hancock counties.
The Maine-based cell company, Wireless Partners, is connecting rural residents and businesses to the digital world. They’re partnering with Verizon Wireless to build 13 new cell towers.
“Our phone calls and things for cell phones, we don’t have so many drops. We can actually get a full order in now,” said florist Aimee Wagner at Berry Vines.
Coverage is a big component when it comes to customer service. For Berry Vines in Machias, getting up to speed in the digital world means they don’t have to put sales on hold.
“There would be two or three days sometimes to get ahold of somebody because they either weren’t home, or we couldn’t get through to the cell phone, or tell us the carrier’s dropped,” said Wagner.
The new cell tower in Whiting had workers on it Thursday, and will help people in Washington and East Hancock counties to virtually never drop a call.
“When you come to a market that has less than good coverage and no true wireless broadband, you realize just how bad it is and how much you need it,” said President and CEO Robert Parsloe of Wireless Partners.
“Seeing something like this, seeing private business come up with a solution, and seeing investments made, it’s going to be a complete game changer for the people of this county,” said Chris Gardner, executive director of Eastport Port Authority.
Just one year ago, Amy Wagner couldn’t receive calls or messages from her son while on Rte. 1. He was being rushed to the hospital after cutting his finger while chopping wood.
“It was very heart-wrenching for me. My oldest son is 20 but he was unable to call me and say, ‘What do I do? We’ve had an accident,'” said Amy Jeanroy of Robbinston.
There’s no doubt rural residents and businesses face poor internet and cell service. Now they can connect without thinking twice.
“Makes it a lot easier now because most everyone is dropping their landlines. So with the cell phone service being better, the orders, we can get the correct addresses to deliver them or we can call the people back if there’s any mistakes or nobody is home,” said Wagner.
Wireless Partners is finishing up the new cell towers, which will give all Downeast Verizon customers 4G LTE access in the next 45 days.