BOISE -- A huge majority of people at Bronco Stadium on any given game day, have their cell or smart phones with them. Many of them would like to share pictures or video of the game, connect with friends, check stats and rosters, or text to celebrate big plays.
But at the last home game, many Bronco fans here had zero service and couldn't even get a call out.
When asked for feedback on the cell service situation on our KTVB Facebook wall, over 100 of our friends responded.
Horrible reception -- no data -- no calls -- no service.
Previous to last year I seldom had issues. Last season and this one are awful :(. I've got family on both coasts and can send nothing fun or newsy during the games.
Who cares about the Cell Phones WATCH the game!!!!
We get no service either, it's nice to be able to check on our kids while we're there. Don't worry we're watching the game too ;)
That's just a little taste of what Bronco fans had to say on our Facebook page about their cell service at the Bronco Stadium. Even people living near the campus experience slow or spotty service during the games.
So, what's the problem? Jared Everett, with Boise State says, cell service is a victim of the Broncos' success and attendance.
"Whenever you take tens of thousands of people and aggregate them into one smaller geographic area, it's not uncommon that the cell towers in the area, which are designed to handle a normal day-to-day density of traffic, it's not uncommon that they get overwhelmed," said Everett, Interim Assoc. VP of Campus Planning and Facilities.
Some fans believe providers are restricting use. We tried reaching out to a number of those companies, but only heard back from one whose spokesperson said he wasn't even aware of a problem.
Everrett, again, says he believes the networks are just overloaded, and is working with numerous providers on solutions. The long-term fix is a distributed antenna system at the stadium.
"Both professional and college stadiums are moving to it," said Everrett. "The cellular traffic that is occurring within the stadium actually won't go to the cell tower. The carriers will divert it over the internet where there's more bandwidth."
But, that won't be in place until next season. Everett says at least one carrier is expected to bring in a portable cell tower for the NEXT home game, which can help with demand. But, as far as Thursday's BYU game Everrett chuckles as he says, "People can leave their cell phones at home."