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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Jan. 31, 2007
CONTACT: Leah Mohr, South Dakota Public Utilities Commission, (605) 773-3201
New cell tower improves wireless coverage around Lennox
PIERRE, S.D. – Wireless communications around the Lennox area recently got better with the installation of a cellular tower by Alltel Wireless. The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission worked with the company to launch the tower on Jan. 19, 2007. Alltel customers using their wireless telephones in buildings in Lennox and those traveling along Interstate 29 will notice the improvement.
"The addition of the tower near Lennox is another success story in the PUC's effort to improve wireless communications for South Dakotans," explained PUC Chairman Dusty Johnson. "The Commission aggressively pursues wireless infrastructure for underserved areas in our state. Reliable wireless service is important for public safety, economic development and quality of life," he continued.
"According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the population of Lennox has increased more than 18 percent since 1990," remarked PUC Vice Chairman Gary Hanson. "In addition, a growing number of commuters travel I-29 daily to work. These facts made it clear to Alltel that Lennox is a vibrant area in need of improved wireless service," he said.
"The PUC's role in promoting wireless service is one of advocacy and education," offered PUC Commissioner Steve Kolbeck. "We have an ongoing dialogue with decision makers at wireless companies. We also hear from community leaders, business owners and residents about areas that need improved service. We are a liaison among these groups to share information and establish relationships," he said.
The PUC was instrumental in securing improved wireless coverage in 2006 for areas in and around Armour, Colton, Gettysburg, Flandreau, downtown Huron, Ipswich, south Mitchell, Montrose, northeast Rapid City and Renner. More than 100 wireless communications sites have been constructed in South Dakota since 2004.