WATERLOO — Mel Grimes said it’s comforting to know that Lauderdale County’s most western town is no longer cut off from what has become an essential element of technology.
“We’re moving into the 21st century,” said Grimes, a member of the Waterloo Town Council.
Grimes has worked eight years on bringing cell towers to Waterloo.
The wait is over.
AT&T has installed two towers in Waterloo and company officials said they are activated.
The towers are on Pea Ridge Road (Lauderdale 45) and Texas Ridge Road (Lauderdale 87).
“This expansion is a tremendous example of how AT&T is broadening the reach of our customers in order to stay in touch with the world around them,” said Fred McCallum, president of AT&T Alabama. “More and more people are looking for wireless communications to stay in touch with family, friends and business colleagues. This development helps to open new and more convenient opportunities to do so.”
Grimes said the towers provide the latest technology.
“They have 4G technology,” he said. “We will be able to get mobile broadband off these towers.”
Grimes said it’s amazing the difference in service the new system is making for residence in Waterloo.
“Many of our residents have access to the U-verse video and broadband service as well as better wireless connectivity,” Grimes said.
State Sen. Tammy Irons, D-Florence, has worked with Grimes and AT&T on the project. She said Waterloo and surrounding areas will benefit from where the new cell towers are positioned.
“I’m excited that AT&T has made this investment of broadband and wireless in rural Alabama,” Irons said. She said the cell towers will improve the quality of life for residents in the Waterloo area while also providing faster communications with emergency responders.
“Minutes can make a difference in saving a life or putting out a house fire,” she said. “I am committed to the continued improvement of our communications infrastructure. Our rural communities should have the same quality access to communication devices and services as other areas of the state.”
Grimes said AT&T engineers say four total towers are needed to provide coverage to the western end of the county.
“One of those will be across the river in Colbert County at Bear Creek,” Grimes said. “The last one will be on Lauderdale 2, near the Natchez Trace Parkway.”
He said he expects other cell service providers will rent space on the towers, which will add more service to the area.
“We have been cut off from technology because we are so far out, but this is bringing technology to us,” Grimes said. “Cellphones can now be used in Waterloo.”
Tom Smith can be reached at 256-740-5757 or tom.smith@TimesDaily.com.