Tuesday, October 13, 2015

New York City highrise landlords have to scramble to keep tenants wired for good cell service

Yes, I have thought about the possibility (from mid-2016 on) of living in New York City again (see main blog, June 9, 2015, where I whimsically talk about the New York Mets, with some prescience, it turns out).  But one big problem, particularly in the more “affordable” outer boroughs, would be making sure that full cable, high speed Internet, and cell service (and backup hotspot) all work well.

 This may be a bigger issue than I would have expected, and I will have to be careful before signing anything.

The Real Estate section of the Sunday New York Times “Sunday Business”, p. 8, offers a long article by Michelle Higgins, “The Message: Loud and Clear: High-rises ad cellphones don’t mix. But no service, no tenant. The fix? New wireless systems”.  Online, the title is “The Cellphone Imperative: If I can’t text, I’, moving”, link here

I would presume that Donald Trump, with his background in air rights, has taken care of this in all his new condo buildings. (Yes, it would be fun to live near Columbus Circle and Lincoln Center in his building if I could afford it --m and that's Yankee territory.) 
I do have some tech-and-music friends, mainly in Brooklyn, who don’t report any problems, but they may be living in brownstones in less-tall buildings.  (Yes, they love the Mets.)

In hotels in Manhattan, I usually don’t have a problem.  (However, at the Hotel Pennsylvania, I think in 2012, I had reserved a room that offered free Internet but had to ask for a room change to get it. )  Usually, the iPad or the iPhone hotspot works OK deep inside the hotel, so the hotels do seem to have wired themselves for good cell service (at least from Verizon, my carrier).  (One smaller midtown hotel gave me exactly the same room both times I was there!)
Cell phones usually don’t work well in most sections of the NYC subway (as of December 2014, but check this WSJ story) , and are starting to work better in many lines of the Washington DC Metro (usually in stations when stopped and in some of the tunnels).


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