Mayor Bloomberg and a pained looking DoITT Commissioner Menchini; Photo -

The Mayor, Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications Commissioner Gino Menchini, and Department of Consumer Affairs Commissioner Gretchen Dykstra want to know about your cell phone service, specifically where your cell phone's dead zones are. This initiative to improve New Yorkers' cell phone service comes as users will be able to switch providers while keeping their numbers. Some of the Mayor's remarks from the press conference:

"Cell phones generally provide a great service. The trouble is that every once in a while cell phones don't work _ and cell phones don't work exactly at the wrong time, or in places that you are, and it's very annoying. The city is going to try to help providers find out where cell phones don't work and tell consumers where they don't work, so that they can decide if they want to carry a separate phone or avoid those areas. But they should know that if they were in those areas, if they were to need 911, it wouldn't be available.”

Another phone? Ack. But one place New Yorkers need cell phones is the subway, since pay phones are rare and the rare ones rarely work.

Take the City's Mobile Phone Reception Problem Survey. Or you can call 311. Additionally, the City revealed some facts about 311, the information line:
- 311 has received over 3.16 million calls, currently averaging 20,000 calls a day.
- 95% of calls to 311 are answered by a Citizen Service Specialist within 5 seconds.
- Most common types of calls are: noise (NYPD), landlord maintenance or heating (HDP), CFC/Freon removal (DSNY), blocked driveway (NYPD), traffic signal defect (DOT), and open or leaking fire hydrant (DEP).

Fascinating! Seriously.