Patchy Cell Phone Service Sparks Frustration, Safety Concerns in SW Fort Worth

Think you can't live without your cellphone? Some neighbors in far southwest Fort Worth have to. Cellphone Service in the Summer Creek neighborhood is so patchy that the area's city councilman is getting involved in the search for cellular solutions.

"You cannot make a cell phone call downstairs in my house," said neighbor Aimee Piotrowski.

Her family has to take every call upstairs or outside, and that's a common story in far southwest Fort Worth, where the cell service we all count on is seriously patchy.

"It's sporadic, it comes in and out, in and out, in and out, in and out," said neighbor Howard Dunlop.

It's a problem with multiple cell phone providers and it's not clear what's causing it, though the neighborhoods in the area are hillier than most in North Texas and lots of people say their service seems to drop whenever the road does.

Several homeowners have set up micro cells in their homes to boost the signal.

"It was a big issue because middle of the night there is no signal,” said neighbor Mrs. Das. “That means if you have emergency, you cannot reach anybody."

There haven't been any reports of failed 911 calls, but it's that kind of safety concern that moved City Councilman Jungus Jordan to get involved. He lives in the area and he’s now putting in a formal request with each cell phone carrier to address the spotty coverage.

Many neighbors want a new tower closer by.

"That's what I'm hoping for," Mrs. Das said.

The problem will only get worse, with 17,000 new homes expected in the area over the next 10 years, each neighbor bringing the phones that seem to run our daily lives.

"I was just thinking how dependent we have become," said Lou Supina. "It is a necessity."

NBC5 checked with the two biggest cell phone service providers.

An AT&T spokesperson released the following statement:

“We value customer feedback and continually make enhancements to local network coverage, including adding LTE capacity to cell sites in the south Fort Worth area this year. In the past three years, we’ve invested more than $6.8 billion in our Texas wireless and wired networks.”

A Verizon spokesperson released this statement:

“Verizon is not aware of any service issues impacting customers in that area.  If customers would like to share their feedback,  we encourage them to contact Verizon customer service.  At this time, Verizon does not have plans to build a new site in the area but we are always looking for ways to enhance coverage and service.”

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