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San Francisco Cellphone Service Shockingly Bad For A Global Tech Capitol

PALO ALTO (KPIX 5) -- Dropped calls, slow data and spotty service, all right in the middle of the tech capitol of the world -- Silicon Valley.

As far as reliability goes for Bay Area cell phone users, complaints are contingent upon who you ask.

Mountain View resident Sarah Vakharia says, "It's not been bad so I have no complaints."

San Jose resident Robert Burley said, "I've always had calls dropped or can't use my phone for Internet, any of that kind of stuff."

But statistically speaking -- RootMetrics puts San Francisco 58th on its list of 125 metropolitan cities with the best and worst network performance rates in the country.

Not as bad as Los Angeles at 99, but far behind Sacramento at number 8. The study suggests it's partially our own fault.

Environmental activist Peter Sullivan subscribes to the theory that cell phone towers are just fine, but don't build one in my own backyard.

"It's never really been proven safe," Sullivan said.

His environmental awareness organization, Clear Light Ventures, fought the City of Palo Alto as it tried to build a cell tower near a Little League field with historically bad cell service.

"Next to a library and a Little League field, if you're trying to do harm that would be a great place to put it right? So they're unintentionally putting it in these locations," Sullivan said.

It's not that he's against technology. He admits having a cell phone is a necessity.

But he's worried the average person doesn't know how unsafe cell phone radiation can be, awareness of this idea is something he's working with a Berkeley professor to promote.

"I don't want to see these businesses go bad. I'm actually concerned they'll get slammed with litigation if they don't do something to address this right now," Sullivan said.

It's a classic Bay Area conundrum: Can we live in the most technologically advanced cities without having regulations slow things down?

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