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Reception Issues Spark Novel Approach in Weston

Betsey Peyreigne wandered through her Weston home searching for cell phone service. With her power out, it's her only connection to the outside world – her landline is through her cable provider.

"I walked all over the place" looking for a signal, Peyreigne said. "I don't know how I ended up on the kitchen counter, but I did." She found a signal. From that day forward, she hops onto the granite as soon as her phone rings, hoping that the forces of nature and technology are not at odds in that moment.

Country living often requires novel approaches to finding that elusive signal bar on your cell phone. "My daughter discovered she could occasionally stand on my picnic table outside and text her friends in Manhattan," Peyreigne added. She and her family live in a "dead zone" just off Valley Forge Road, although the term "paralyzed zone" might better define the area, given that they sometimes receive a signal. Several years ago, Weston received a bid to erect a tower on Morehouse Farm Park, but the Board of Selectmen voted against it because of its proximity to the Saugatuck Reservoir watershed.

In 2007, Weston installed its third tower at the transfer station on Godfrey Road. This tower gives the Peyreigne family some access to cell service, but it's limited compared to what it would have been if the Morehouse tower had been built. "I used to have nothing before they put that tower up at the dump," she said.

AT&T, Verizon and Sprint share the three towers in town, each with varying degrees of strength. In addition to the newest one at the dump, Weston has towers on Norfield Road at Town Hall and on Weston Road.

Weston is one of the few Connecticut towns that has an ordinance preventing cell towers from being erected on private property. First Selectman Gayle Weinstein said the law was passed because the selectmen "didn't want everyone to be putting cell towers on their front lawn," although she wasn't a selectman at the time the decision was made.

No companies have contacted the town with an interest in building a fourth tower, Weinstein said. As long as kitchen counters provide access to service, Weston might not need another tower.

You can read more

To read more stories about cell phone reception in Fairfield County, click on the headlines below.

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Verizon Upgrades Service in Stamford

Westport Teen Tackles Lousy Cell Phone Reception

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Fairfielders Agree: Dropped Calls Not a Problem

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Easton Divided Over Cell Tower Site

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