Red Cliff Band Maps Cellular Coverage for the Apostle Islands

August 3, 2020—The Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians in partnership with the United States Coast Guard have completed an operation to chart the cellular coverage for the waterways of the Apostle Islands. This project is intended to inform the public where cellular coverage may not be available for the area’s major carriers. The chart created by this project will show, in broad form, the areas where communication may be difficult using a cell phone or other cellular enabled device. The public can use this information to plan their recreational activities in the Apostle Islands and may assist in the event of an emergency.

Red Cliff and the USCG mapped cellular coverage around, in, and among the islands. The operations covered over 180 nautical miles and more than 10 hours of mapping time. The Tribe used advanced software mapping tools connected to Verizon, AT&T, and the First Responder’s Network Authority (First Net) networks. Using the results of this survey, the Red Cliff Planning Department used their GIS mapping software to produce a chart of the results. The coordination between the Red Cliff Band and the Coast Guard in this project is a unique first-time venture. The Coast Guard may use these results to assist with their operations.

The completed chart is intended to be informational. The chart is not authoritative as to exact positions, locations, or signal levels that any user will experience on any given day. Cellular service is based on many factors, and while as many of those factors have been considered, no mapping will ever be perfect for any given individual on any given day. This chart is intended to guide and assist but should not be used as the only reason to make a decision regarding safety.

The Cellular Chart of the Apostle Islands is provided electronically, free of charge, on the Red Cliff Tribal Website