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McCain spokesman: No Verizon, AT&T favors

Oct. 16, 2008 at 9:59 AM
SEDONA, Ariz., Oct. 16 (UPI) -- Verizon and AT&T put special towers on U.S. Sen. John McCain's Arizona ranch after his wife, Cindy McCain, requested cellphone service, the companies said.

Verizon Communications Inc. and AT&T Inc. both delivered portable "cell sites on wheels," free of charge, to the Republican U.S. presidential hopeful's remote 15-acre ranch near Sedona, Ariz., this summer, the companies said.

The devices are generally used to provide temporary service in places where wireless coverage is inadequate or knocked out, such as at the Super Bowl football championship game or after a hurricane.

Verizon delivered its portable tower in June after the Secret Service followed up Cindy McCain's request about improving coverage in the area, The Washington Post reported. AT&T followed suit in July.

Verizon spokesman Jeffrey Nelson, while acknowledging the delivery, told the newspaper he was "not going to talk about individual customers and their requests."

AT&T spokeswoman Claudia Jones said, "You can't have a presidential nominee in an area where there is not cell coverage."

A McCain spokesman told the Post Cindy McCain received no favors from Verizon or AT&T.

"Just because she is married to a senator doesn't mean she forfeits her right to ask for cell service as any other Verizon customer can," Brian Rogers said.

McCain, R-Ariz., is a senior member of the Senate commerce committee, which oversees the telecommunications industry.

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