AT&T says Tri-Valley will have cell service by Dec. 15

Problems with AT&T cell service in the Tri-Valley area will continue for another few days, but should clear up after that, according to AT&T. The problems, in the form of an almost total blackout for most Tri-Valley communities, began at the end of November and have angered resident, including emergency service providers worried about the lack of cell service.

Efforts by the area's county supervisors and calls from the MT last week did not turn up a reason for the blackout, nor a solution, but according to an e-mail sent out by AT&T' s Eric Johnson, External Affairs Monday, here's the problem — and the solution:

“AT&T recently discovered that some of our former Alltel customers who received new AT&T phones have encountered network issues in Mono and Inyo Counties. Our teams in the field are working diligently to address these issues at the four cell sites below:

1) We anticipate that new AT&T phones will be working in greater Benton, including the Hammil and Chalfant Valleys, no later than Wednesday, December 15th, barring unforeseen technical or environmental issues. All required network equipment is on-site and we have commenced testing.

2) We expect the new AT&T phones to be working in the Ancient Bristolcone Pine Forest area by the end of December.

3) Our teams are also working to have the new AT&T phones operational in Mt. Patterson and Rogers Peak as soon as possible.

"Customers with the new AT&T phones can reactivate their old phones by bringing them to one of our stores located at 352 Old Mammoth Road, Mammoth Lakes, or 905 N. Main Street, Bishop.

AT&T is working as quickly as possible to address these issues. We apologize for the inconvenience and we look forward to bringing all the benefits of our advanced wireless data network to our customers in Mono and Inyo Counties.”