Cell phone service may go digital

Town residents could see digital cell phone service here in the near future, Doug McCaig of Fort Frances Network Services said during Tuesday night’s regular council meeting.
Using the tower outside Robert Moore School, this expanded service would mean more options for cellular phone customers, who’ve only had the option for the farther-reaching analog service until now.
“It’s all in place,” said McCaig in response to questions of when this service could be offered here.
“But we have to have a campaign promoting it,” he noted. “The reason for this is there’s so few digital cell phones being available at stores locally.
“It’s a lack of education on the part of people selling phones.”
McCaig hinted the Fort Frances Network Services eventually may be able to offer high-speed Internet service here, too.
“We’ll get all the facts and figures for you, the council, and if it’s a viable business venture, well go ahead with it,” he said. “It’s up to council to say, ‘Go, look into it.’”
Meanwhile, McCaig reported cell phone service here has been booming, with 4,500 subscribers in the district, 3,900 of whom are in the Fort Frances area.
“It’s working out much better than anticipated—we have many customers and a cash flow going,” he said, adding it looks as if the company will be able to pay off its start-up debt in the next four years.
And McCaig gave a tip to local cell phone customers who might find they get a busy signal when they press “send” after dialing a number as if the system was overloaded: press “send” twice, with a several second delay in between.