Last Thursday 11/4/2010 -- AT&T finally rolled out 3G service to Berkshire County. Before that, we had EDGE/wireless network.

I have started to love my iPhone since then. No longer sluggish and horrid with low bars of service.

^ incase the article goes dead in the future- posting this for reference!

"AT&T flips switch on 3G
By Amanda Korman, Berkshire Eagle Staff
Updated: 10/29/2010 06:55:25 AM EDT

Friday October 29, 2010

PITTSFIELD -- AT&T finally launched 3G service, which allows for faster Web browsing and use of smart phone features, in Berkshire County on Thursday, according to a company spokeswoman.
AT&T is making its 3G push into a market in which Verizon Wireless, the nation's largest carrier, has had its 3G network running since January 2008.

Kate MacKinnon, a spokeswoman for AT&T, made the announcement today via Twitter: "AT&T 3G is now live in Berkshire County. More details to come."

The service comes as welcome news to AT&T customers in the Berkshires who have eagerly awaited the network, including users of Apple's iPhone. The iPhone is under an exclusive contract with AT&T.
Apple products are particularly popular in the Berkshires, according to Dan Salzarulo, general manager of Best Buy at the Berkshire Mall in Lanesborough.

"This county's kind of hooked on the iPhone," Salzarulo said. He said his Best Buy has sold more iPhone 4s than any of the other nine stores in the company's regional district, which covers the area from Poughkeepsie, N.Y., to Plattsburgh, N.Y., and from Saratoga Springs, N.Y., to Holyoke.
In an interview with The Eagle, MacKinnon said the high-speed network was launching on 33 cell towers in the Berkshires. The rest of the cell towers in the county -- including parts of Pittsfield, Stockbridge, North County and anywhere else that normally receive cell service -- are expected to go live with
the network in the coming days, she said. That means anywhere AT&T subscribers have cell service they will also find access to the 3G network.

"I cannot remember a 3G expansion that has been this highly anticipated," MacKinnon said.
Driving out of his home in Hinsdale, iPhone user Chris George was shocked to see the tiny "3G" insignia show up on his phone's screen.

"I pulled over and went to a website, because I wanted to make sure it wasn't a mistake," said George, 39. "I was pretty psyched ... without the 3G, it crawls."

Meanwhile, Verizon Wireless spokesman Michael Murphy said Verizon has ruled the 3G market in Berkshire County since January 2008 and is the dominant wireless company in Massachusetts.

"[Verizon] broadcasts 3G signal from every site throughout the Bay State," Murphy said in a news statement.
Third-quarter reports show that Verizon has more cellular subscribers in the United States than AT&T, 93.2 million compared with 92.8 million. However, Verizon posted its lowest number of new subscribers in 10 years (just less than 1 million) during that quarter, while AT&T recorded more than 2.5 million new users during the same time.
Regionally, Verizon Wireless has invested more than $2.6 billion into its New England network during the past 10 years, including a recent cell site in Windsor, the statement said.

"[Verizon's] network investment in New England has kept us ahead of consumer trends, provided our customers with a 3G advantage and underscored our belief that any mobile device is only as good as the network it runs on," Murphy said.

Leah Parker, 27, bought an iPhone last January without knowing it wouldn't be able to access the high-speed connection in Pittsfield, where she lives.

"It was totally disappointing," she said.

Experiencing 3G outside of the Berkshires, Parker got a taste for what she was missing.
"When I went to Springfield, the 3G worked, and I was like, ‘Woah. This is why I spent so much on a phone,' " she said.

Sitting in Dottie's Coffee on North Street in Pittsfield, Parker wasn't yet able to access the 3G connection that went live in some locations Thursday, but she's looking forward to it. Two of her favorite sites, YouTube and the music radio website Pandora do not load on her iPhone with her current connection.

iPhone users' new capacities are drumming up a lot of excitement in the Berkshires. MacKinnon said she was in contact via Twitter with one county man who had promised to bake her an "iPhone cake" once AT&T's 3G went live here.

But that thrill is tempered by frustration that it has taken AT&T this long to come through with the higher speed when their competitor did so nearly two years ago.

Part-time Great Barrington resident Frani Rothman said she has hardly used her iPhone for Internet here, since the connection has been so slow. Instead, she has watched her friends who have Verizon service freely surf the Internet on their phones.

Laura Burton, 26, moved from New York City in September, and said it's been an adjustment.
"In New York, I was used to having instant access, and here it's just like, ugh, so frustrating," Burton said.
AT&T has been working in the county since the summer to get the network's equipment ready, tested and optimized, MacKinnon said.
The areas now covered by AT&T's 3G network are Agawam, Becket, Blandford, Easthampton, Granville, Great Barrington, Haydenville, Hinsdale, Holyoke, Huntington, Lee, Lenox, Northampton, Otis, parts of Pittsfield, Russell, Sheffield, Southampton, Southwick, Washington, Westhampton, West Stockbridge, Westfield, and these towns' surrounding areas. "

Granted, 3G was NOT actually "live" in October, but it did happen the following week.

For all of those who have been waiting for it-- in the Berkshires-- I wanted to post this up so that it's known and recorded on the boards