Photography by Tommy Stafford
Nelson County Life Magazine Â©2007
Improved Cellular Service For Nellysford Area
Above, crews out of Roanoke hoist antenna cables to the top of a newly installed monopole behind the Wintergreen Fire Department in Stoney Creek. The structure will greatly improve cellular service for AT&T wireless users in the area.
NCL can confirm that improved cellular service is on the way for at least part of Nelson County with a much greater improvement coming in 2008. Crews have been working to get a new monopole structure and the electronics completed for AT&T Wireless. The transmitter will be located behind the Wintergreen Fire Department in Stoney Creek with an expected competition date at the end of December. “They are telling it will be active and ready for use by the end of this month,” says Curtis Sheets, Chief of Wintergreen Fire & Rescue. Curtis is coordinating the installation of the equipment and making sure every modification is signed off by him before any work is completed. “This is significant for the fire and rescue as well. We will finally be able to put a much needed repeater on this monopole that will increase our radio coverage here in the valley. Right now we have several radio dead spots up near the mountain and this will help eliminate those,” Curtis continues.
Bad cellular service is something most Nelson County residents have grown accustomed to, knowing their signal will drop out sometime, somewhere. The AT&T wireless system will help improve service for their customers in the Nellysford area, but in other parts of the county it won’t be much help. However, Verizon Wireless is undertaking an aggressive plan to install numerous sites across Nelson County to essentially cover the entire area with reliable cellular service. If the system is like other Verizon Wireless systems in the country, it would have Verizon Broadband wireless capability when completed.
Verizon Wireless has been negotiating with various land owners across the county to secure long term leases for placement of equipment. All of the sites including the AT&T site in Nellysford are using low profile monopole (a slim pole with no tension wires attached) structures to better blend into the area and be less conspicuous. NCL knows of several land owners from Piney River to Afton and beyond that have been contacted by Verizon Wireless to work out land leases. Several have already made their way through regulatory channels.
Once completed the system should provide much more reliable wireless service to customers in the Nelson area in the valley and on the mountains.