Northumberland Echo

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Can you hear me now?

Posted on Monday, July 15, 2019 at 5:09 pm

Northumberland County’s Board of Supervisors spent a great deal of their Thursday meeting talking about problems the county’s emergency personnel are having with their radios; apparently, they often have static that renders them useless.

County Administrator Luttrell Tadlock said the company that provided the radios in 2015, radio Communications of Virginia, has said power lines might be the source of the interference. Supervisor Tom Tomlin wasn’t buying it. The system is “just not working,” he said. Callao Fire Chief David Woolard said, “I don’t know that I believe anything they say.”

“It’s got to change because somebody is going to get hurt,” Tomlin observed.

Communications arose in another context when Atlantic Broadband’s Tom Wagner said his company could upgrade the radio signals from the county’s several satellite towers by running fiber optic lines to them. He said the upgrade wouldn’t fix the radio static problems but would assure “the static gets through.” The upgrade would cost $73,000, he said.

Tomlin wanted to know why the company could run all that cable at that price but couldn’t run fiber optics to residential users at similar cost. Wagner did not have an answer.