by Mike Masnick

Can You Hear Me Now NYC?

from the build-your-own dept

Sick of dealing with deadspots throughout New York City, mayor Michael Bloomberg has set up a system to let users call in and report dead spots (obviously, they have to wait until they have service again to call). The city will then make that information public on November 24th, coinciding, of course, with the day that (most) carriers dread: number portability day. For years, the carriers have been notoriously secretive about their maps, which often show exactly where the deadspots occur. Some have tried to force the carriers to open up, partly for the sake of customers who don't want to be locked into a 2 year contract only to come home and find they have no signal at home. However, the industry has fought these attempts, saying that the maps change constantly, and releasing one to the public would be outdated in days, and thus, unfair to the company. So, now, it appears that NYC is simply routing around this issue by using angry customers to create their own outages map. It will be interesting to see what actually comes out of this. Will there be incentive for people to lie? What if they work for one carrier and want to make another one look bad? Also, will there be enough data to make this service actually useful? Since you obviously can't call when you're in the deadspot itself, how many people will remember to call later on?

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  • identicon
    OldYeller, 28 Oct 2003 @ 5:57am

    Time for the Stick...

    Nothing like a little first amendment motivation to prompt the carriers into publishing their own maps. If they don't, they're subject to being misrepresented, and if they do, the onus is on them to keep them timely and accurate or risk being called liars.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Richard Ault, 28 Oct 2003 @ 11:06am

    Deadspots? Here?

    Interestingly enough SF is littered with deadspots. Having lived here for the past 8 years, I'm scratching my head, wondering why they haven't figured this out. Maybe they haven't been properly motivated? Hopefully what Bloomberg is doing will ripple it's way across the country.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jeff, 24 Nov 2003 @ 5:14pm

    Finding Dead Cell Zones

    DeadCellZones is a leading research community dedicated to identifying specific geographic areas within metro areas of the United States where cellular telephone calls are frequently dropped or where cellular service is not available. DeadCellZones.com provides an open communication platform for consumers to easily report the information that is needed to identify specific geographic areas that consistently experience poor cellular coverage. In our survey we ask for specific intersections where a dropped call is expected -- the infamous "I'm going to lose you in a second..." It is our mission to report these gaps in coverage to companies in the wireless industry to more effectively address these problems. We believe “seamless wireless coverage can be achieved if carriers simply listen to their customers.”

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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