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All West serves Summit County outskirts

SKYLER BELL, Of the Record staff

It happens in big cities and drives people mad. It has been the topic of advertising campaigns for almost every major cell phone company in the United States; however, dropped calls and "dead zones" aren’t just frustrating to those in giant metropolises, but have almost become a way of life for rural residents like those in the Kamas Valley.

Which is why All West Communications went wireless.

All West, an incumbent telephone services company since 1912, has its headquarters in Kamas and seeks to provide the area with reliable wireless service throughout the valley.

"We are touting the best local coverage, but again that’s restricted to the service area that we’re in currently, but we’re looking to expand that area," said Darcy Kunz, Vice President of IT Engineering. "Another thing that we tout is local calling for our customers. We’re the only wireless provider to provide a local number for Kamas and Coalville."

Last week The Park Record ran a story on dead spots throughout Summit County, but failed to include All West in the discussion of carriers. The shortcomings of services to the Kamas area brought up by the article were the same concerns that caused All West to enter the phone business almost 100 years ago.

"The company is in its third generation and is a family business," Kunz said. "The telephone services in the neighboring communities to the founder’s home, which were part of the Bell System, wouldn’t provide service to him so he built a phone line from those communities to his house and his neighbors wanted service as well. That’s how it got started."

All West has continued to expand since then, and now provides local and long-distance home and business phone service, dial-up and high-speed DSL internet, wireless phone service, and now digital video service, which is like cable television over the phone line, and they currently have about 170 channels available.

They have recently expanded their wireless service area, but they’re not done.

"We have coverage in the Kamas Valley, up Weber Canyon, up in Woodland and also in the Coalville area," Kunz said. "We provide service nationally through roaming agreements we have with Sprint and Verizon. In the majority of areas that people think don’t get service in Summit County, All West Wireless provides service and very reliable service at that."

Although they do have national roaming agreements with two of the major wireless companies, All West does not rely on them locally.

"We build our own towers," Kunz said. "We have seven, and we’re looking to install two more this year — one in Oakley, late summer, and one in Coalville, with a fall time frame, to improve our signal in both those communities."

All West Wireless currently serves over 150 customers, all mainly from Kamas, and provide the service with rates comparable to the major companies. Although new accounts must either be set up over the phone or in their Kamas office, Kunz said he is more than willing to make house calls if necessary.

"If someone can’t make it in to the store, they can just call and we’ll run the new phone out to them," he said. "That’s not a problem at all. But one of our biggest problems is that a lot of people in the area are locked in to a current contract with their current provider and we’re just waiting for those to run out and get them in here.

"But what is interesting to me is that a small company like this is taking on the giants, taking on Verizon, taking on Cingular, taking on T-Mobile, but we know that this company is providing excellent service to this community and we hope people will see that."

All West Communications is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 50 West 100 North in Kamas and can be reached at (435) 783-4361 or online at http://www.allwest.net.


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