Cell service at the Centre County Grange Encampment and Fair is virtually nonexistent, but that shouldn’t be an issue this year.
The fair’s Facebook page posted on July 29 that Verizon agreed to have a portable cell tower, “cell on wheels,” at the fair to provide service. AT&T, however, denied the same request.
“Well, we requested again, and then we notified everyone on Facebook that it didn’t look like they’d be here,” Grange Fair general manager Darlene Confer said. “We wanted to give people time to plan accordingly. There was definitely a safety issue, too. If you dial 911, you wouldn’t be able to get through. Based on multiple factors, AT&T revisited their position.”
An Aug. 5 post announced AT&T agreed to bring in a portable cell tower, allowing AT&T users to have cell service at the fair.
“AT&T had elected in the past not to do it, and part of the problem is these are always corporate decisions,” Confer said. “It’s difficult for them to know the magnitude of this. There will 2,500 families here and 10 to 15,000 people here before we get started. Even Verizon, the first time they did it, did not anticipate the amount of usage that occurred here. They were were amazed.”
“We’re very, very pleased that they’re both on board,” she added.