One More Thing About Today’s Eclipse–You May Lose Phone Signal in Rural Areas
So you've found yourself a solitary spot out in the middle of nowhere to catch today's eclipse. Be careful about the out-of-the-way spots along the "Path of Totality," because you might not be able to do much with your phone.
I tend to agree with Joe Dredge, who suggested this morning that you just put down your phone and enjoy the celestial event. Leave the photo taking to the pros, who have the right experience and equipment to get a much better shot than you probably will.
Even if you do manage to pull off a great shot of the solar eclipse, chances are, if you're in a rural area, that you won't be able to get that shot uploaded to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
According to the Daily Herald's AP story:
The best places to see it fall within a 60- to 70-mile-wide swath known as the "path of totality," where there will be periods of total darkness ranging up to two minutes and 40 seconds. The path carves through largely rural areas, where cellphone service can be spotty at best, though, so it may not be possible to quickly post to Facebook, Instagram and the like even though carriers plan to temporarily boost capacity in some places.
"We're expecting a good experience but there will be times at peak where the network will struggle," said Paula Doublin, assistant vice president for construction and engineering for AT&T, the nation's second-largest provider.
The 6,700 residents of Madras, Oregon, will be far outnumbered by visitors, and Verizon, AT&T and Sprint all plan to bring portable towers for its event. AT&T will deploy eight portable cell towers across the country - in Madras and Mitchell, Oregon; Columbia, Owensville and Washington in Missouri; Carbondale, Illinois; Hopkinsville, Kentucky; and Glendo Reservoir, Wyoming.
Sprint and Verizon Wireless, which is the nation's largest cellphone company, say recent network enhancements have reduced the need for deployment of temporary cell towers at large-scale events, but they'll be ready to rock with additional towers if needed for the high volume of phone usage.