The Palo Pinto County Emergency Services District has sent AT&T a resolution requesting expanded bandwidth for the Possum Kingdom Lake area during major holiday weekends.
Directors forwarded a White Paper to AT&T requesting additional cell phone capacity.
“The conclusion of this white paper strongly suggests that AT&T should immediately increase the cell phone capacity to meet peak periods of usage, i.e. holiday weekends,” the document reads.
The document noted an increase in cell phone use over holiday weeks — Memorial Day, July 4 and Labor Day.
“The area’s full time population is approximately 2,100,” it specifies. “However, since this is a prime resort area with many weekend residents and guests, our population easily exceeds 45,000 in attendance in the prescribed area attempting to make cell phone calls at the same time, which results in a busy signal or non-completed call. AT&T’s ‘busy studies’ should easily confirm these statistics.”
The document further notes that the PK Lake area is served by three volunteer fire departments and two volunteer EMSs.
“Those entities are on standby during our peak periods of cell phone usage.”
The document continued by noting that, in an emergency, a cell phone call met by a busy signal because the towers are overloaded could lead to tragic situation.
The white paper also noted that, during the PK Complex fires in 2011, AT&T brought in a mobile cell phone tower to expand cell service.
“… locally it would be necessary for AT&T to upgrade the existing facilities or provide a ‘COW’ (mobile cell phone tower) during each and every holiday week or requested peak usage period.”
The ESD directors also suggested it was not only an inconvenience for AT&T subscribers, but also a drain to local businesses during peak periods of use.
“For the reasons detailed above, it is our request that AT&T Corp. should increase their existing cell phone capacity and[or add a mobile cell phone tower to assist us with business and emergency services in the Possum Kingdom Lake area during peak cell phone usage periods.”