When Selectman Bob Lessler takes a phone call at home he has to be careful where he stands — and not just on the issue.
Lessler’s cell phone carrier is AT&T, and depending on where he stands in his home, you might not hear him now.
“Service has been spotty, ” Lessler said.
But after AT&T begins providing service through the Homeland Tower on Morehouse Road next month, Lessler will be able to take calls anywhere in his home.
Raymond Vergati, the regional manager of Homeland Tower, a company that provides infrastructure for cellular carriers, said that AT&T is expected to begin providing service at the Morehouse Road tower in a month.
“Their equipment is on site, and they are getting ready to be operational,” Vergati said.
Verizon has been the sole service carrier for the 160-foot cell phone tower erected in 2017 after a decades-long endeavor. Easton residents fended off its construction for years, concerned it would clash with the town’s rural nature.
But public safety topped the list of reasons the town sought to improve wireless coverage in the area. In one harrowing incident in 2014, calls to 911 failed while a 9-year-old was choking on a piece of candy while riding in a car on Pond Field. The child survived.
Town officials say that the Homeland Tower, built on town-owned property near the Samuel Staples Elementary School campus, has provided service in dead zones, but calls made and received near Town Hall still remain spotty.
Police Chief Rich Doyle said since the tower was built cell phone reception improved along Routes 58 and 136, two heavily traveled roads, and he believes the addition of AT&T as a carrier will further improve the service.
“Service is important because people would have to drive away from the scene of an accident to get cell phone service,” he said.
Lessler, who supported the cell phone tower, said reliable service is a health and safety concern, especially for emergency calls.
“God forbid if someone gets hurt on Morehouse ball fields and they need to call an ambulance,” he said.
Vergati said the addition of AT&T to the tower should improve service in the area. T-mobile will eventually come to the site now that its merger with Sprint is finalized, he said.