Soon after moving to southern Humboldt county a few months ago, I began my search for a new wireless carrier. T-Mobile was great back in Charleston, SC, and I was really hoping to enjoy those blazing fast HSPA+ speeds that they are currently rolling out around the country. Unfortunately they don’t even have 3G anywhere north of Santa Rosa, so there is no real sense in holding my breath on that one. Shouldn’t be a big deal though. After all, there are 6 or more carriers that sell locally, and they are all pushing Android devices.
Fifteen to thirty minutes, and a few coverage maps later I had the information I needed to choose a new provider for my mobile devices. Well in all actuality I can’t really say it’s much of a choice. The one and only carrier that has 3G coverage up here is Verizon Wireless. Go figure, the only company providing quality data service to the marijuana capitol of the US, happens to be the one who has exercised the least resistance when it comes to it’s subscriber’s privacy & law enforcement. Weren’t they the ones who remotely and covertly installed software to activate microphones and cameras…even when the device was “off”? Not that I do or intend to partake in illicit or illegal activities….I’m just saying’. I don’t really feel comfortable with a company that has such an open F yo’ privacy attitude towards it’s customers.
So yeah. It would appear that T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint, and all the companies that lease from them don’t care about the money to be made here. Even if they do choose to neglect us Humboldt County residents (like a lot of folks do) they could at least provide their customers who travel Hwy 101 with decent service. It is kinda one the main routes through northern Cali. The lack of 3G or better coverage is not limited to a small area either. I mention Humboldt county because I live there, but Mendocino, Trinity, and other surrounding areas in No.Cal are also neglected. For those not familiar with the area, we’re talking about nearly 1/3 of the state.
In the end, I will most likely go with Verizon anyway. Even if their “3G” is 1/3 the bandwidth of T-Mobile’s, and the Setup wizard actually DOES take five minutes like it claims. Still I will surely toss $10 on my T-Mobile flex account every three months or so, in hopes they will one day see the light. With AT&T ignoring my region as well, I can see the future of my GSM devices limited to use during trips down south. It’s times like these one can’t help but envy the abundance of mobile and internet providers elsewhere in the world, while questioning exactly how much “freedom” us Americans have anymore.