Students apprehensive about having to brave Maine winters now have one less reason to worry. A new arrangement with Cingular means that by the end of this month, students should get cell phone service in their dorms.
According to Chief Information Officer Mitch Davis, the CIO advisory council, a student group established by the BSG to express student concerns over technology, identified poor campus cell phone service as a problem. Davis and IT responded by making a deal with Cingular that allows the company to install a cell phone tower on Coles Tower.
As part of the deal, students will not only receive better cell phone service, but Bowdoin will also be paid $24,000 a year, with that amount increasing 3 to 4 percent a year by Cingular, said Davis.
"We're providing a service to them," he said.
Additionally, Cingular will be installing devices called "trickle antenna"' in individual dorms if reception is still not available in dorms after the installation of the tower.
Davis said that he also contacted Verizon about installing a tower, but that the company responded that their coverage in the area was already sufficient.
An informal survey of students confirmed that while Verizon's service may be adequate, Cingular's is lacking.
"Verizon I think is the best around here," said Alex Weaver '07.
"I'm in Pine Street, which is I guess kind of notorious for having bad cell phone service, but mine is fine," he said.
"If anybody needed to put up a tower it would be Cingular. My roommate has Cingular and he has miserable service," he said.
Rutledge Long '10, who has Cingular, agreed.
"There's one spot on my hall, but if anyone's talking you can't hear anything," he said.
"It's not like I'm psyched about [the cell phone tower]... it's like a 'why wasn't it here in the first place' kind of thing...I switched my cell phone service from Sprint to Cingular over the summer because they said they recommended Cingular and then I got here and I was like, 'huh, guess not'."