Grace Cottage gets AT&T Cell Site on Wheels Townshend also to benefit with potential provider shutdown

Gov. Phil Scott on Monday announced the arrival of an AT&T Cell Site on Wheels — COW — at Grace Cottage Hospital in Townshend, which will reinforce and enhance wireless network coverage for the hospital and the community.

The hospital and surrounding area were facing a loss of coverage due to a potential shutdown of wireless provider CoverageCo. Scott worked with AT&T to ensure there would be no coverage gaps in the hospital’s critical operations.

Within five days of Scott’s initial request, an AT&T COW arrived in the Grace Cottage parking lot. This equipment will provide more AT&T coverage than was previously available.

 “Ensuring Grace Cottage Hospital does not see a lapse in wireless network coverage was a priority as we work to support the entire area impacted,” said Scott. “I appreciate AT&T’s partnership in identifying and providing this solution for the hospital and surrounding area, and the continued work of our Department of Public Service, Agency of Commerce, the legislature and local officials on this issue.”

Grace Cottage Hospital and Townshend are new coverage areas for AT&T. In addition to the COW, AT&T has plans for a permanent cell site in Townshend as part of the company’s FirstNet nationwide first responder network, which benefits public safety and citizens alike.

Scott sought assistance with the Grace Cottage Hospital site when it appeared that the CoverageCo small cell network would shut down at the beginning of April. Beginning in 2012, CoverageCo has been under contract with the state of Vermont to build a wireless network of small cell sites in rural areas, completing 160 of a planned 500 nodes over the past four years. However, in the face of mounting management difficulties, CoverageCo’s small cell network in Vermont may shut down, jeopardizing cell coverage along rural roadways in some of Vermont’s most remote areas, as well as for some school facilities, public safety outlets and Grace Cottage Hospital.

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About the Author: This item was edited from one or more press releases submitted to The Chester Telegraph.

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