• AT&T: Upgrades reason behind spotty service


    ATLANTA,None - After Channel 2 Action News received calls complaining about dropped cell service through AT&T, Channel 2’s Jim Strickland went to the company for answers.

    "My AT&T coverage seems to have gotten worse," Matthew Thaxton, of Cumming, said. Strickland drove with him to find where his phone has been giving him fits.

    "We're sitting in the middle of Winward Parkway with one bar of service. There's nothing blocking. No obstructions or anything," Thaxton said.

    With a tower right up the street, Beth Hawks had five bars of signal Wednesday afternoon, but the night before she said there was nothing.

    "It was searching for a signal. It could not get a signal. I could not get my daughter on the telephone. I mean, there was no way to get a signal," Hawks said.

    AT&T said part of the issue stems from upgrades along the system. Some of the work was going on, on Channel 2's own tower. AT&T has cell equipment installed there.

    The company's statement reads in full:

    “Our wireless network in Atlanta has been undergoing a lot of changes and we've been performing a lot of necessary upgrades and enhancements to hundreds of cell sites in the city.

    While our network engineers work hard to make these upgrades, there may be some isolated disruptions. This is only temporary.

    This work, which will increase capacity and penetration for support of data services and in-building usage, will continue through the summer time frame. The most important of these activities is the work were doing to ready our network for the next generation of wireless technologies like HSPA+ and LTE.

    We’ve led the industry in mobile broadband growth, with an 8,000 percent increase in mobile broadband volumes nationwide over the past four years. That has put pressure on our voice network in some high-volume urban centers like here in Atlanta.”

    Amy McGurk is one of nearly two dozen viewers would emailed Strickland in less than 30 minutes when we posted about the issue online.

    "A friend of mine is planning a wedding. We were trying to talk about that the other day, and she finally said, 'Forget it. I'll just text you later,' " recalled McGurk.

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