SPECIAL REPORT: Rural Cell Phone Coverage

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MESA COUNTY, Colo. (KKCO) -- Earlier this month, Apple came out with their latest and greatest iPhone, the iPhone X. But no matter what kind of phone, or what carrier you have, some parts of our area simply can't connect in the ways us city folks can.

In urban areas like Grand Junction, you can use your smart phone to text, use apps, and make calls. But in some of our rural communities...Well, good luck finding a signal.

The cell phone search engine Whistle Out shows that while Verizon and AT&T have the best coverage, some areas are dead zones. The biggest stretch can be seen between Whitewater and Nucla on Highway 141.

The gaps in our area get bigger with Sprint & T-Mobile.

And even in areas where signal is good, and 3G and 4G exists, that signal can still be weak and calls can drop. The Redlands, Loma, and De Beque Canyon among others see dropped calls and limited access to wireless technology.

What's being done about it? Jill Canfield from the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association says regulatory processes have hampered mobile expansion nationwide.

She says the big wireless companies are in no way bad actors. It just takes time, and yes, money, to get service everywhere.

"It's very difficult for those communities that don't have it now," Canfield said. "But when you look at the country as a whole, we're doing a decent job and we're getting there."

But in the meantime those who prefer the countryside as opposed to concrete living will have to find other ways to connect.

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