New tower to boost signal By Isabel Pike Staff Writer Published: Friday, March 14th, 2008 An AT&T antenna atop Fine Hall is in the final stages of construction and is scheduled for completion next week. “The antenna has been put up with the intent to improve the phone service on campus and in the Princeton community,” University Director of Community and Regional Affairs Kristin Appleget said. “Students should hopefully notice an improvement almost immediately once the antenna is complete.” The plan for the antenna has been in the making for more than a year, but due to a lengthy planning board review process, construction only started in January. Concealment panels are currently being placed around the antenna to make it less visible to the public. T-Mobile and Sprint are also building antennas on top of Fine Hall that will be completed by mid-April. The completion of the AT&T tower will be of particular interest to those who have iPhones, which can only be used with AT&T. Vivek Pamulapati ’10, who bought an iPhone this summer, said that “it would be nice to be completely connected with better service, especially in places like the Firestone underground levels.” Pamulapati used AT&T even before he owned an iPhone and said he is used to AT&T’s somewhat weaker service. The new antenna “is not going to make a large difference in my lifestyle,” he said. Vanessa Yu ’10 said that the quality of reception for AT&T in the past depended on one’s location on campus. “There’s quite a few areas on campus where there’s no reception at all,” she said, adding that she picked AT&T because the service is “pretty good [in Blair Hall].” “Other than in Frist, Whitman and the gym, I don’t have any issues with service,” Tara Lewis ’11 said. “I’m sure people in Whitman who have AT&T would be happy about it as well.” “I’m glad they’re building a new tower because it’ll be nice to get service on more than half the campus,” Sophia LeMaire ’11 agreed. Yu raised the point that the additional reception provided by the tower is “really important in case of emergency alerts” that everyone can be reached promptly. In 2006, a Verizon antenna was built on top of New South, after which University community members who used Verizon saw a considerable improvement in service. Allie Armbruster ’09, who switched from AT&T to Verizon when the Verizon antenna was erected, said that currently, “Verizon is way better than the other carriers.” “Before the Verizon tower was built, I wasn’t able to get any service in my room at all,” she said.