Unless the Anchor was followed closely these past several months, seasonal residents may be unaware of the evolving Harpswell-Verizon saga. In the autumn of 2022, a grassroots effort led by frustrated cellphone users and supported by elected officials spurred Verizon to reverse course and evaluate using the town’s new tower.

Harpswell became a Verizon “priority” in Maine, meaning that it immediately became one of multiple active projects. Verizon then budgeted this new work, mapped the areas of poor cell coverage, determined that utilizing the new tower should improve service, engaged Blue Sky (the tower’s owner) in lease negotiations, and is currently awaiting signoff by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Still on the to-do list for Verizon are the obtaining of some local permits and an element of construction, i.e., physical work. It is reasonable to anticipate significantly enhanced cell coverage sometime in the spring of 2024, ending an 18-month process accomplished at a pace that would only satisfy a bureaucrat.

Dennis Wilkins, Bailey Island