AT&T brings in temporary cell towers for eclipse turnout
COLUMBIA - Tens of thousands of people are coming to mid-Missouri to watch the solar eclipse in August, and AT&T is deploying three temporary cell towers to help keep up with load on wireless.
Chris Lester, an AT&T senior public relations manager, said many people will want to use the network, so the company wanted to increase its coverage in the area.
"The total eclipse runs through a lot of rural areas where our cell coverage is not as good as an urban area so we decided to help those things as best as we can,” Lester said.
AT&T is sending out nine temporary cell towers across the nation for the solar eclipse. Three of these will be put in Missouri. They will be located in Columbia, Owensville and Washington.
"Missouri is going to have the largest number of cell on wheels deployed on the day of the eclipse,” Lester said. “We expect those deployments will boost our capacity at those sights at an average of 160 percent.”
Gabe Huffington, the Columbia Parks and Recreation Department parks services manager, said one of the towers will be located at Cosmo Park next to the Nickell Shelter.
“There won’t be a lot of intrusion in park activities. We know the eclipse is very important to our community," Huffington said. "We are glad to accommodate it."
He said the tower would probably be set up this week and will be there for three weeks.
“They are anticipating a large number of people in Columbia. They are making sure they have enough cellular capabilities to satisfy all the customers and citizens,” Huffington said.
AT&T usually puts the temporary towers out when it expects a surge in the number of people in an area.
"It could be a big concert event or festival or football games, things like that, where you don’t see a consistent level of data demand every day, but where you anticipate a surge because of a large congregation of people," Lester said.
He suggests people wait to upload videos and photos until after the eclipse ends.
“The smart move is be in the moment, be present, take your photos and your videos and all that stuff, and then upload it later,” Lester said.
He said that would make it easier on the towers, but is "also just a cool way to live."
Read full #ShowMeEclipse coverage at KOMU.com/eclipse.
COLUMBIA - Boone and Callaway County has a new circuit judge. Judge J. Hasbrouck “Brouck” Jacobs will preside over... More >>
COLUMBIA - Mid-Missouri high school football teams are kicking off the final week of Friday Night Fever. In our FNF... More >>
COLUMBIA - Fight for the First documentary was shown at the Missouri theatre for donors and students Friday. The film... More >>
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A Nigerian citizen living in St. Louis has been sentenced to six and a half years... More >>
COLUMBIA - #MeToo started as a tweet and turned into an international discussion on sexual harassment. Columbia resident Macy... More >>
COLUMBIA - Columbia is attracting attention for its innovation in collegiate eSports. From having the first varsity collegiate all-woman eSports... More >>
MEXICO – A former teacher pleaded guilty Friday to two counts of sexual contact with a student. Robert Cortez,... More >>
ASHLAND - Namaste Health Care alerted 1,600 patients to a security breach that happened the weekend of Aug. 12-13. A... More >>
JEFFERSON CITY – Jefferson City Mayor Carrie Tergin announced that October 20 th would be recognized every year as Buckle... More >>
COLUMBIA - The city of Columbia received a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign's Municipal Equality Index, city officials... More >>
COLUMBIA - Volunteers from the city and community spent the day picking up litter, clearing branches and cleaning sidewalks in... More >>
GREENSBURG, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania man has been jailed on charges he sold heroin in the hospital maternity ward... More >>
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A jazz museum that's plagued by operating losses and bounced checks to musicians could be headed... More >>
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Relatives of man who died at the Hutchinson Correctional Facility are alleging that a fungus infected... More >>
CALLAWAY COUNTY - A 21-year-old man faces a handful of charges for allegedly stealing from a church and also stealing... More >>
COLUMBIA - Two felons from Columbia were charged in federal court with illegally having guns and ammunition. Ladame Smith... More >>
Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:
Coming Up Next
6:00aKOMU 8 News Today
9:00aMegyn Kelly TODAY
8:00aThe Steve Wilkos Show
8:00pThis Is Us
9:01pLaw & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders
8:00pDC's Legends of Tomorrow
9:00pKOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW