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The tower is on!

October 03, 2012 - For nine years, Verizon's famous national ad campaign repeatedly asked consumers, "Can you hear me now?"

Well, in rural Addison Township, the answer is finally a resounding, "Yes!"

Just before midnight on Thursday, Sept. 27, the 190-foot Verizon monopole constructed earlier this year in the township's Watershed Preserve Park went on-line, providing cellular phone coverage and wireless internet services to customers who had previously learned to live without such modern conveniences.

"This is big news for us up here only because we were left out for so many years," said Supervisor Bruce Pearson. "I've had people coming into the (township) office just to say they're so happy."

Pearson indicated he was told by Verizon that the monopole's signal has a range of 10 to 15 miles. It's located just north of the Village of Leonard.

"I drove around the whole northern end of the township and into Dryden, everything is up to four bars (of cell phone signal strength) everywhere," he said. "Before it was dead up there. We had no cell phone coverage. If you got up into those curves north of town, it was completely dead."

In addition to cell phone coverage, the monopole is also offering Verizon customers high-speed wireless internet access.

"Right now, they have 3G turned on," Pearson said. "The 4G will be turned on, they say, in the next week or so."

This is good news, particularly for people with home-based businesses and students living in northern Addison.

"People are really at a disadvantage when they have kids in school. Our kids didn't have any internet up here," Pearson said. "They couldn't get some homework assignments done without it. They had to go to the library or whatever."

Those wishing to receive wireless internet services from Verizon inside their homes can purchase a hotspot device capable of serving up to five computers.

"For like $49 a month, you get this little device – it plugs in and charges just like a cell phone – and it makes your whole house wireless," he said.

Or folks can use their cell phone to provide wireless internet for the computer they're using. "My Verizon phone is a hotspot," Pearson said. "I can turn my phone on now and run my computers off it."

Verizon is leasing the 10,000 square feet of park land upon which the monopole and its related equipment sits from the township for $17,000 per year over a five-year period. The rent is set to increase by 2.5 percent annually. Addison plans to use this revenue to develop, maintain and improve its park system.

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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