Editors, Vineyard Gazette:
In Verizon’s application for a cell tower in West Tisbury the Vineyard is facing a dilemma that is of growing concern and action across the country. Simply that people like cell phones — but don’t like to see cell towers.
Sophistication and market size of cell phones is growing rapidly. Each step up of capability means shorter range of transmission. The number and density of cell towers will increase. But how many towers will be needed in the future?
Do we really want to go down this road?
Are cell towers the only alternative? They still seem to be the cheapest and easiest for the carriers. But now other wireless alternatives, both under development and working, are increasingly attractive and easier to market because they are much less intrusive visually.
Chilmark and Aquinnah have opted away from the cell tower solution.
So do we want more cell towers in West Tisbury if we can get cell coverage without any visual pollution? The answer is self-evident. Depends on the if.
So why jump into this without being fully informed on our options. Why not get a full understanding of the capability and cost of alternative systems with analysis of future developments. We need an informed decision on the consequences of embarking on the tower route. Meanwhile, on a purely temporary basis, why not let Verizon restore the coverage they had when the President was in residence.
Alan Temple, West Tisbury