New cell towers will expand coverage
Lindsay Marchello, Bayonet & Saber /
Five new cell towers that will improve communication around post and the surrounding Columbus area are currently being erected around Fort Benning.
“Municipal Communications came to us with a proposal,” said George Steuber, the Fort Benning deputy garrison commander. “They said, ‘Look, we understand that the cell phone coverage on the installation and the wider area could be improved and we would like to come and build some cell towers on Fort Benning to improve those communications.'”
Steuber added that the new towers did not cost Fort Benning anything.
“(Municipal Communications) paid for everything. They constructed the towers,” said Steuber. “They are actually paying fair market value for the land that they are using.”
The process to get the towers on post took three years because Municipal Communications needed a lease to build on the land. An environmental assessment also had to be done to ensure that construction of additional towers would not adversely impact the environment, Steuber said.
“We coordinated to make sure this was not going to affect any of our operations here on Fort Benning,” said Steuber. “This is a win-win for us and we get the top of the tower for all our communication needs.”
The improved coverage will help communication with emergency services and public works, Steuber added. “Having that communications capability is key for us to make sure people can work and play safely on the installation,” Steuber said.
Steuber added that the improved communications would help with large events, such as the Independence Day celebration that drew over 20,000 people.
“Getting that additional communications capability on Fort Benning is absolutely critical,” said Steuber. “This is an absolute win for taxpayers, Soldiers and families.”