Cell Phone Habit

July 20, 2012
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Hamilton County just filed a grant application for funding to complete broadband installation in most of its hamlets. This should be accomplished by the end of 2013. It involves hanging a lot of fiber optic cable. In the meantime, most of us have DSL.
Cell phone coverage will take more time. Mountains and trees get in the way, and some cellular service providers are reluctant to spend money where populations are thin. Communities are putting up their own towers to entice providers, so cell service will probably increase soon.
Until satellites provide cell phone coverage, however, there will continue to be large gaps in service in the Adirondack Park. With roughly 3 million acres of protected wilderness where construction of any kind is prohibited, there is no way enough towers can be built.  I say "thank goodness!" Being available 24-7 to nearly everyone from telemarketers to family members to one's bosses -- often while driving – has become a habit, but it sure isn't life-enhancing.
Many people feel they need to be connected electronically and are anxious if they aren't. Cell phones are perceived as a necessary safety mechanism in an unsafe world.
Well, I don't live in an unsafeworld. I live in the Adirondacks. 

Author:  Ann Melious moved to Hamilton County in 2011 as director of Economic Development and Tourism. She had moved away from the Adirondacks and was happy to return.