Tech & The District » Metro Center Tech the way we see it: insights and musings on technology PR, policy and the District, from H&K’s D.C. Tech Team. Thu, 04 Aug 2011 15:06:44 +0000 en hourly 1 To “Cell” with Blackouts! Fri, 16 Oct 2009 15:15:53 +0000 Andrew Cuneo

I’m sure, like me, many of you have experienced the “Metro Cell Struggle.”  Unless your carrier is Verizon, many of you have experienced the frustration of total blackouts when riding through Metro’s underground tunnels.  However the Washington Post reported this morning that as of midnight tonight, 20 Metro stations, nearly half of the underground locations, will be fully equipped with cell phone service meaning riders who use Sprint-Nextel, T-Mobile or AT&T devices will be able to communicate at various stops, most notably Metro Center and other busy locations.

This initial rollout means you’ll be able to get reception on the platforms at these stations but will lose it once you step on the train and proceed down the track to the next station.  The hope is that by next fall, the remaining 27 stations will provide this service and that all stations will be “on-line” by 2012, both on platforms and in tunnels.

This is a great deal for Metro riders who, like me, have experienced underground delays and no way of communicating with people street level. On more than one occasion, I’ve been underground during a delay on the Orange line and have tried to send an email only to recognize the new found frustration of no service.

This is also a great deal for Metro. According to the Post report, the contract with the three carriers will generate at least $25 million of revenue over the next 15 years and $52 million over the next 25.  Maybe this will be enough to spare us a fare hike in the near future.

For a complete map of new locations, please click here. What other areas of cell phone outage should be improved?





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