Councilman Rich Peterson to chair cell phone task force

The San Juan County Council has designated Rich Peterson as chair of an ad hoc task force to find ways to improve cell phone coverage within the county.

In recent years law enforcement officials, emergency responders and individual citizens have increasingly expressed concerns about the lack of cell phone service in many areas of the county.

“This is an important safety issue, as well as a matter of convenience,” Peterson said. “I would like to fill out this cell phone task force with four to six sharp people, preferably including some with a background in the communications industry. My hope is that this group will be able to work with cell phone providers to find a way to meet our communications needs while still being sensitive to the concerns of our residents who are concerned about the natural environment and the aesthetics of the islands.”

The current county code regulating cell phone towers is often cited as being so restrictive that it has discouraged providers from attempting to locate additional transmitters here. Peterson says that he believes the code will need to be revised, but that changing the code alone won’t produce results. “We need to determine what cell phone providers really want and need before we do anything,” he said.

Peterson encourages anyone with an interest in working on the task force to contact the San Juan County Council office by email at or by phone at (360) 378-2898 (ask for Maureen See).

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