The Village of South Jacksonville was stood up by a representative of AT&T this past Thursday at their monthly Committee of the Whole meeting.
A representative was scheduled to appear at the meeting and give a presentation on possible locations to stick a cellphone tower to deal with the village’s ongoing dead zone problems that also causes trouble for 9-1-1 emergency service calls.
The Village has been pursuing a location to place the tower for months. Village President Dick Samples says he doesn’t know why a small township should be pursuing a multi-billion dollar international business to provide better service to its customers: “I don’t know why we are so concerned. This is a huge company, and wherever they want to put this tower, they will put it. Our concern should be in the fact on where they choose to put it and if it’s legal to put it there. I’ve got the same problems as everybody as far as service – It sucks. It’s terrible. Why aren’t these guys doing something about it? I don’t know. You’re going to have to ask AT&T. [The representative’s phone number] is hung at Village Hall. Whenever you come in to pay your water bill, it says if you’ve got an AT&T problem, it says who to call. If they don’t want to fix it, I suggest getting another supplier.”
When asked about the recent superseding indictment of Michael Madigan and AT&T entering a deferred prosecution agreement with the federal government for a bribery scheme involving the former Illinois House Speaker, Samples says he’s not sure if that’s causing a hang up of movement on the village’s local problem: “It could be. I’m sure there is more involved in this than I’ll ever know or ever be involved in or with. But, yeah, it plays a part. I think they all got a little piece of the pie and were all getting subsidies from AT&T – I’m talking about all the state’s representatives – they all got money from them.”
Whether it’s having the bigger problem with the federal government or simply dragging their feet or not finding a suitable spot yet, Samples doesn’t know. He says if AT&T had a spot selected to put a tower that the company would likely have already started construction. He recommends village residents file a complaint for their poor service or simply switch carriers.