I am writing in support of Verizon installing equipment on the new Mitchell Field tower in South Harpswell.

I am not a resident of Harpswell. I live in Brunswick, where I get spotty service at best, but I have remained a Verizon customer (through Xfinity) nonetheless. I do, however, boat on the waters around Harpswell and spend a lot of time moored at The Goslings. The Verizon signal there is very weak. I can be having a conversation on my phone and drop the call when the boat swings on the mooring. Text messages may or may not go through. All the while I can see the Mitchell Field tower 2 miles away.

As a retired fire chief, I am keenly aware of the importance of reliable emergency communications. On my boat I have two VHF radios for normal communications, as well as other means of emergency communications. I will survive without Verizon. However, countless small craft and kayaks are on these waters every day of the summer and well into the shoulder boating seasons. I am certain most do not have VHF radios or satellite beacons on their crafts, rather they will rely on their cellphone in an emergency.

For the convenience and safety of the residents of Harpswell and the emergency responders who serve them, as well as all who use the waters surrounding Harpswell, I implore you to take advantage of the existing tower and up Verizon’s reliability in the area.

Clark Labbe, Brunswick