Bess Rattray, 54, a writer and volunteer emergency medical technician, grew up in East Hampton and now lives near the village’s main business district. Ms. Rattray’s cell phone frequently fails in her own home, forcing her to go to the front yard.
Sometimes, he said, his phone will simply say “not available,” which usually happens when there are “too many people using” cell phones in the area. “That is bananas at this time,” he said. “In this incredibly rich area and so close to the largest metropolitan area in the country.”
The Hamptons’ lack of reliable service, he said, also presents a real safety hazard. “We all know, in emergency services, there are places where radios and cell phones might not work,” he said. “You go off the road in one of those places and you’re out of luck.”
While some vacationers may enjoy being unreachable, for others it is a matter of productivity. Nicole Castillo, 46, executive vice president of WordHampton, a public relations firm, estimates that 30 percent of her work is done outside of the office.
Ms. Castillo lives and works in the Springs neighborhood and said she often communicates with clients on the go. “On the weekend, it’s very challenging to even send a text message,” he said. In his office, his cell phone reception is down at all and the company has had to buy amplifiers.
Michael Schwarz, 38, founder and CEO of technology company Improove, Inc., moved with his girlfriend to East Hampton from New York City last June. Mr. Schwarz was aware of the reception reputation of his new hometown. “I imagine: how bad can it be?” he said. So what he called the “toxic combination” of unreliable internet and “non-existent” cellular service turned out pretty bad, actually.