Metro cell phone service may not be done until 2015, report says

Photo: Heather Farrell

An ambitious program that would have had cell phone service available throughout the entire Metro rail system by next month may not be be complete for another three years, the Washington Examiner reports.

The Examiner's Kytja Weir reports that, according to an internal memo obtained by the paper, it's possible that WMATA will lose out in $1.5 billion in federal funding if they miss the Oct. 16 deadline to complete the work.

Instead, the work to finish cell phone signal availability across the entire Metro system might not be done until the very end of 2015.

A 2008 bill passed by Congress appropriated $150 million per year for a decade to expand cell phone service. The bill had a stipulation that the system's busiest stations, including Gallery Place, L'Enfant Plaza and others, be wired for service by October of 2009. That legislation also stipulated that more than two dozen more stations and more than 50 miles of tunnel had to be wired by next month's deadline.