AT&T has informed City Manager Johnny Huizar that a new tower located at Winship and Goodwin is estimated to be ready December 15. In addition, AT&T will focus six small cells from Hwy. 97 to downtown where service was shown to be the poorest in the city.
“The contractor picked up all the permit papers that he needed,” said Huizar. “So as soon as the paperwork is complete, we will give out the permit. AT&T asked if we could expedite the process and we told them it is already a priority so yes we will do that.” Huizar believes the contractor could start as early as October 15th. The contractor told Huizar that once he gets his materials, the tower can go up as soon as 30 days.
Huizar said the next step would be for AT&T to install their hardware to the tower and that takes another 30 days. “So we are looking at December 15 at the earliest. If it is sooner that is a plus.”
Huizar said that the most significant problems with AT&T cell service began in May. AT&T said that the problem was with so much streaming on mobile in the area. The city said they continually stayed in contact with AT&T reporting the issues even writing to the FCC. AT&T provided some quick fixes that provided some relief, but the city felt it was not enough. The biggest problem became the interference with first responders.
“With our first responders, with emergency services, the ATT service was a public safety matter,” said Huizar. “Emergency services were being interfered, and that was chief to everything,” Huizar said that during this process they would be trying to work on a deal where the first responders will have their own dedicated service.
There is no word on what AT&T is doing to help the rest of the service in Atascosa County. The Pleasanton Express will continue to find out if additional towers are planned for the County. Pleasanton Express reporter, Rebecca Pesqueda was told by the local AT&T store that three towers were going up in Pleasanton. The city could only verify one. Atascosa County Commissioner Bill Carroll said that AT&T had not contacted him regarding a new cell for the county.
Atascosa County Judge Bob Hurley stated he has not been contacted by AT&T regarding a new tower.