“Can you hear me now?” A familiar question that was often asked by people trying to make a cell phone call back in the days when cell reception was universally terrible. It was made famous by Verizon, which advertised their wide coverage and ability for cell phone users to actually make phone calls and hear the person at the other end of the call. That was a decade ago. Today getting good cellular coverage has become a necessity for both phone calls and for internet connectivity and is a service we take for granted. We depend upon it, for both our personal lives and for work. And while it has gotten better overall, it often isn’t very good in Los Altos. So, most people, ourselves included, want to make sure the City Council actually helps us get better service. But here is the reality; getting better cellular service in your house is an issue that you as a resident need to fix, either by contacting your cellular provider or by using your home internet for telephone calls. The City does not control what upgrades the cellular carriers make to their systems and what the quality of service is for customers. And yes, we will discuss 5G a bit later in this article.
But here is where politics and passion mix. Ask some residents about cell service in Los Altos and they immediately blame the City Council (or a subset thereof) for bad service and the holdup in the deployment of the newer 5G technology which they believe will solve all of their connectivity issues. Most of that turns out to be not true. But first let’s talk about the issues currently before the City Council. Continue reading “Can You Hear Me Now?”