Cell tower squabble: T-Mobile says Melbourne hotel owner is cutting off power

Video: Cell tower squabble: T-Mobile says Melbourne hotel owner is cutting off power

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — T-Mobile customers in Brevard County might not be able to call anyone – including 911 – because a hotel owner is messing with a cell tower, the company said.

The communications company leases space on top of the Radisson on Route A1A in Melbourne.

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According to a lawsuit filed in federal court, T-Mobile claims someone from the condo association that owns the hotel has been going to the roof and cutting the power to the cell tower. The lawsuit claims T-Mobile has been forced to go to the roof and restore power.

The company figured it could stop the problem by putting a padlock on its electrical system but claims the condo association came back with bolt cutters and turned off the power again.

Residents, visitors and business owners in the area have noticed that their cell phone service goes in and out without warning.

“I have four bars of LTE and then out of nowhere it’s off. No service,” said Angelo Abitino, who owns the nearby Napoli Pizza and Pasta restaurant. “I wouldn’t be able to call 911 and then I could have to take matters into my own hands.”

T-Mobile claims whoever is flipping the power switch is violating federal regulations.

The company said the cell tower has been on the roof for 21 years.

T-Mobile said it does not know why the condo association started turning off the power.