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ST. LOUIS –– U.S. Cellular recently completed construction of a new cell site in Drury to improve call quality for its customers. The new 350-foot site will increase U.S. Cellular’s coverage in Drury and south of Mountain Grove along Highway 95. The new site complements U.S. Cellular’s statewide network of more than 800 towers. U.S. Cellular was able to build the tower with the support of the federal Universal Service Fund, a critical resource for wireless expansion throughout rural America.
“This part of Missouri lacked quality wireless service. As a result, we identified the community as a priority,” said Nathan Waddell, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in Missouri. “People everywhere depend on their cell phones to meet critical safety and everyday business needs. With a stronger network, areas surrounding Drury and Mountain Grove can also become more competitive in attracting new business.”
This new site is part of U.S. Cellular’s 3G Mobile Broadband network in Missouri which allows customers to access data on their cell phones 10 times faster than before and at no additional cost. With 3G speeds, browsing the Web on a smartphone is very similar to the experience on a desktop computer. Web pages open faster and customers can send and receive large email attachments. Downloads take less time and picture and video messages are delivered more quickly.
In Missouri and other parts of rural America, first responders such as police officers, firefighters and other emergency vehicles depend on wireless service to arrive quickly at emergency situations. Nationwide, nearly 300,000 emergency 911 calls are placed via cell phones every day.
“We need reliable wireless service to protect the health and security of our citizens and public safety officials,” said Douglas County Presiding Commissioner James Linder. “It is a big help to us when companies like U.S. Cellular expand their networks.”
In 2009, U.S. Cellular received approximately $16 million in Universal Service Fund (USF) support in Missouri and used this funding to bring wireless service to 22 sites in rural cities and towns across the state.
U.S. Cellular has led recent efforts to preserve federal support for rural wireless network development through Connecting Rural America, a coalition of public safety officials, economic development organizations and concerned citizens working for equality in wireless telecommunications. Its goal is to provide rural communities with the same access to wireless technology that urban communities already enjoy.
Based in Chicago, the company serves 6.2 million customers across the country.