Schumer Taking Action Against Dropped Cellphone Calls

NEW YORK (AP) -

There’s one thing Sen. Charles Schumer says is “driving New Yorkers crazy”: dropped cellphone calls in dead zones all over the city.

Pulling out his flip phone, the Democrat announced Sunday that he’s launching a crowdsourcing campaign to field complaints about spotty service locations. He’ll then release names of the biggest culprits to the public, while challenging wireless carriers to fix connections.

“Cellphones are essential for New Yorkers, but what good is a cellphone unless you have good coverage?” Schumer said at a Manhattan news conference, noting that lack of service could prove dangerous in emergencies.

“New Yorkers are using wireless carriers far more than landlines to keep in touch with loved ones and to place important calls and so, our wireless carriers need to make sure our cellphone coverage is uninterrupted,” the senator said.

His office will track performance by inviting mobile phone users to email complaints via his official website to eventually produce a list of weak reception spots.

The senator has already engaged some upstate communities, getting about 3,000 responses so far. He’s now waiting for more feedback from some of the millions of New York City and Long Island residents.

“What’s galling is that this happens in the same places over and over again,” said Schumer, who was once cut off on the Williamsburg Bridge while on his cell with the top executive of a major provider.