Tower expected to improve county communications

A new 400 foot plus radio and broadband tower has been erected in northern Calhoun in the Five Forks-Broomstick area.

The new tower is expected to improve communications of emergency services throughout West Virginia and will also be used by Calhoun's 911 system for county responders, fire departments, police and ambulance service.

The tower is part of the state Interoperability Radio Project, which will have two other towers in the area, one at Floe and the other at Spencer.

The statewide broadband system is a communications network in which the bandwidth can be divided and shared by multiple simultaneous signals, said Kathy Wood, Calhoun 911/OES Director.

"It is an always-on high speed connection to the Internet, allowing large amounts of data transmission. The new broadband tower is also expected to bring Internet to local schools and agencies, and could possibly bring broadband to area residents," Wood said.

"To simplify, the IRP system works similar to cell phones. It will use multiple towers to communicate, unlike our current system that requires the responder to reach a specific tower," she said.

Sources have indicated cell phone service from a provider could be added to the tower within a year.

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