Raleigh County wireless tower to bring cell phone service to tho - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Raleigh County wireless tower to bring cell phone service to thousands


RALEIGH COUNTY, W.Va. (WVVA) Many residents along Route 3 in Raleigh County, West Virginia don't own a cell phone.  There hasn't been a need for one, explained Dry Creek resident Gary, Jarrell, mainly because they don't work.

"I don't have one. My wife does. We just share it because we can't use it here."

Within the next year; however, that could all change. The Raleigh County Commission and Raleigh County Emergency Services Authority have a plan to put a new wireless tower on Route 3 by the end of the year. 

According to Raleigh County Administrator Jeff Raines, leaders are exploring the possibility of putting the tower on the Marfork Coal Complex operated by Alpha Natural Resources. "That way if or when a disaster could occur, that response time will be much closer to saving lives." 

Raines said the tower can also be used by a commercial carrier and some have already expressed an interest. 

"We want to make sure that we have the coverage North and South based on the axis of that tower, but that the coverage is also provided farther West to hit as many people as possible." 

Ideally, Raines and county leaders would like to see cell phone service and emergency communications extend the entire length of Route 3 between Glen White and Whitesville.

"In an area where people have felt neglected in the past, this is something that can be a big win and hopefully open up some economic development opportunities in this part of the county," added Raines. 


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