Bess Rattray, 54, writer and paramedic volunteer, 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 out into the front yard.
Sometimes, she said, her phone just says “not available,” which usually happens when “too many people” are using cell phones in the area. “These are bananas these days,” she said. “In this incredibly affluent area and so close to the largest metropolitan area in the country.”
The Hamptons’ lack of reliable service is also a real security risk. “We all know that there are places in the emergency services where radios and cell phones may not work,” she said. “You step off the street in one of these places and somehow you are out of luck.”
While some vacationers like to be inaccessible, for others it is a productivity issue. Nicole Castillo, 46, executive vice president of WordHampton, a public relations firm, estimates that 30 percent of her work takes place outside of the office.
Ms. Castillo lives and works in the Springs neighborhood and said she often communicates with customers on the go. “At the weekend it is a big challenge to get a text through at all,” she said. In her office, her cell phone reception doesn’t work at all, and the company had to buy boosters.
Michael Schwarz, 38, founder and CEO of technology company Improove, Inc., moved his girlfriend from New York to East Hampton last June. Mr. Schwarz was aware of the welcome call from his new hometown. “I think how bad can it be?” he said. Then what he called the “toxic combination” of unreliable internet and “nonexistent” cellular service actually turned out to be pretty bad.