Students with Verizon Wireless cell phones can expect better service this year. After a year of negotiations, Verizon activated its new antenna on top of Funger Hall in early July.
Verizon Wireless contacted GW as early as February 2004 with ambitions to increase its service area in and around campus.
Negotiations stalled in September 2005 due to disagreement over placement of the antenna, said Louis Katz, executive vice president and treasurer of the University. GW and Verizon signed a contract in March 2006.
A Verizon Wireless spokesperson said the service provider approached GW with plans for a new antenna because Foggy Bottom needed better service.
“We are looking to have great coverage everywhere our customers are located,” said John Johnson, director of corporate communications for Verizon Wireless in Washington, Baltimore and Virginia. He added that the new antenna has “greatly improved in-building coverage to many campus locations.”
Jennifer Bevacqua-delaConcepcion, director of Telecommunication Business Initiatives for Information Systems and Services Technology Services, said that GW is continuing to negotiate with systems conglomerate NextG to expand the service of other providers. NextG works with service providers and institutions such as universities to expand reception without installing huge towers and antennas. Verizon contacted GW directly to install the new antenna and did not negotiate through NextG.