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Broadband Project Planned;
Completion Expected By May
by TaLonne Mefford

Updated on Wednesday*:

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Calhoun County is in the process of building a broadband tower site in the Five Forks area.

Broadband is a communication network that refers to a signaling method that handles a relatively broad range of frequencies. The broader the bandwidth of the channel, the greater the information carrying capacity.

The broadband tower is expected to bring internet to local schools and emergency service providers.

The tower will also provide the county an opportunity to communicate on the state inter-operable radio project (IRP), a collaborative effort by state, county and municipal public safety entities to establish and maintain a statewide inter-operable radio network.

It works on an ultra-high frequency (UHF). The network is comprised of a system that utilizes some of the latest technologies in the radio industry. IRP has 27 operational sites and provides coverage throughout much of West Virginia.

The IRP system works similarly to cell phone towers in that multiple towers are used to communicate. The current VHF system (very high frequency) requires the responder to reach a specific tower, rather than any of several towers.

With the completion of the broadband tower, Calhoun 911/OES can begin using the IRP system, and provide law enforcement, fire departments, and emergency medical services with dual band radios.

One band will use the IRP signal. The second will be used as a backup on the VHF signal.

Goal of the project is better communications to ensure the safety and wellbeing of Calhoun citizens and emergency responders.

The project is underway, the land has been surveyed, and an agreement has been made with the landowner. The project is expected to be completed in May.


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