We first bought cell phones for communicating in potential emergency situations. My dear wife thought it was silly, so she did not want a phone. Then one day walking to the post office, she tripped on the combination of alley ruts and a raised sidewalk edge. Fell down so that one knee hit the concrete and one hit the grass alongside the walk. Hitting the sidewalk split her kneecap in half. Muscles below and above pulled apart.
She could not get up from the sidewalk. Several cars and pickups drove right past her. Finally a neighbor lady saw her on the sidewalk, checked on her an called 911. My wife decided cellphones might almost be a convenient necessity.
After years of quite reliable service from Alltel and predecessors, we ended up with AT&T service last spring in the FCC desire to provide competition to Verizon. We were then transfered to AT&T. It has been a nearly continuous frustration.
Last night when the snow was blowing and cellphones might have helped somebody stuck in the storm, the AT&T cellphones would not work in Winner for several hours. This morning at 7 AM they were still not working at all. No error messages, just a phone indicator showing "dialing....." and then dead silence with "call ended". The call was never started. Around 8:15AM, the AT&T cellphones might or might not connect. When they did connect, the signal was so rotten that anybody called could hear nothing or only every third or fourth word even if I could hear every word they said.
After shoveling snow this morning and getting wife to work at 7:30AM, a neighbor with a tractor loader helped clear the snow that the city plow piled in our driveway. I made a fresh pot of coffee and ate breakfast Around noon, I was able to regularly complete cellphone calls again.
Regulators of the phone systems should provide notice to all users of cellphones, that they may not be reliable emergency communication devices...at least not here in the Winner, SD area with AT&T Mobility Service. And/or, they should make sure these cellphone systems are reliable at all times.
*** Stay tuned and I hope neither you nor I have any true emergencies--- Doug Wiken