AUSTIN, Texas — A cellphone provider in Austin says it’s not only slow to the point of unusability, but the service could be harmful to your health.
The Austin American-Statesman reports a wireless internet service provider in central Texas has received a court order demanding that it stop providing access to a service called “The Smithville Internet Service.”
Smithville, Texas, is a rural community of about 3,500 people in the southern U.S. with little cellular coverage.
The wireless company that provides service there, T-Mobile US, says it is in the process of relocating to Smithville to avoid further court action.
T-Mo says the court order is a temporary injunction issued by an Austin judge.
TMB Holdings Inc., a unit of T-Mobiles parent company Sprint Corp., is a major wireless provider in Texas, including Austin, Fort Worth, San Antonio and Dallas.
T MB Holdings Inc. says it will appeal the court’s decision to a federal appeals court.
TMA is the same company that owns T-mobile.
TMD Holdings Inc, which also operates Smithville’s wireless service, said it will move to Smithburg to avoid legal action.
Smithville resident and retired Army Ranger Joe Gee says the wireless service is a safety net for Smithville residents when they have to take the bus or drive to work.
Gee is a retired officer with the U.N. peacekeeping mission in the Congo.
Smithtown resident and former Army Ranger Mark Jones says the service isn’t necessary.
Jones is a member of a U.K.-based peacekeeping group called Migrant Support and Defence.
Jones says his son has been a police officer for 15 years in Smithville and he’s concerned the service can be detrimental to his health.
Jones said he can’t afford to keep the service running when he is out of work.
Smith Town resident Kevin Dolan says he can see the benefits of a cellphone connection, but he has a hard time giving up his Internet connection.
Dolan said he’s a member the Smithville Neighborhood Council and the group recently started a campaign to pressure T-MO to cancel the service.
SmithTown resident and current Smithville City Councilman David Smith said the service is an investment in Smithtown, and he believes the company should be held accountable for the service’s negative effects.
Smith was at work in Smithburg when he received a call from a T-MA customer service representative.
Smith said he called back and was told to call back the next day, but didn’t receive a response.
Smith’s son told him T-MB Holdings is moving out of Smithville.
The Smithville Service was a small wireless service that provided wireless access to Smithtown residents, including his father, who had been an active police officer.
Smithson said he hasn’t heard anything from TMB since the service went out.
T MA said it would not comment on pending litigation.
T M, the other T MB entity, has not responded to a request for comment.
Smith, Jones and other Smithtown citizens are also fighting to keep their own wireless service running.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas has filed suit against T MB, arguing the company’s actions are unconstitutional and that Smithville is an independent municipality.