While some Summit Cove residents are able to make calls through a Verizon’s new Summit Cove cell tower, others are still in the dark. Verizon spokeswoman Meagan Dorsch said the new tower, located at Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue Station 12, went live in early February.
Yet some residents of the Cove still have not noticed a change.
“The device needs to be HD voice capable for it to make a difference,” she said. “Otherwise, their service would remain exactly as it did before the cell site went live.”
The unincorporated subdivision between Keystone and Dillon has been notorious for a complete lack of coverage, with many homeowners resorting to signal boosters in their homes to receive calls. Unfortunately, some callers reported they still need to stand next to those same antennae to make or receive calls.
“You need to have advanced calling turned on otherwise it does you no good,” one resident noted.
“The device needs to be HD voice capable for it to make a difference. Otherwise, their service would remain exactly as it did before the cell site went live.”Meagan DorschVerizon spokeswoman
Since plans for an AT&T tower near the landfill between Keystone and Summit Cove were scrapped, Verizon will be the sole carrier in the area, at least for now. Dorsch said she was not aware of any plans by other carriers to co-locate to the site.
The new tower essentially allows customers to make HD voice calls and video calls over the LTE networks, rather than over a Wi-Fi network or through an app. Verizon currently lists 28 devices with Voice over LTE (VoLTE) capabilities, including the Galaxy S6, IPhone 6 and LG G3. To use the service, customers must turn on advanced calling under their phone’s settings, unless it is already activated.
“The sites we’re building today are sites with technology that’s going to carry forward in the future,” she added. “It’s the latest technology, so it operates a little different.”
While Verizon does have 4G LTE available on all cell sites in Summit County, the new tower, in addition to a few others, is a 4G LTE-only site.
Verizon began drafting plans for the new tower after entering into an agreement with Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue, leasing space for the tower from LDFR’s Station 12 in Summit Cove. The tower is currently concealed by a structure to look like a 42-foot hose tower.
While the tower is reportedly live, it has hit a snag, as assistant county manager Thad Noll noted Verizon has not yet conducted called for a final building inspection or a certificate of operation.
“Technically, they should not be operating,” he said. “The structure’s there, and most of the inside work is done.”
According to county records, the last inspection of the building took place on Dec. 29. In response, Dorsch noted Verizon has been working in concert with the zoning authority on the site.
“There are a few different factors in terms of where we’re optimizing our network,” she said. “Some of that is just where that location is in relation to other cell sites. Topography comes into play too.”
Lake Dillon Fire Chief Jeff Berino said the carrier was following the terms of their agreement and had built the structure and were paying rent, but, that aside, he was not involved in the conditions of operation.