Cell Phone Tower Activity at Hyco Lake

12/1/11 - Beacon Towers Erects Cell Tower in Semora - AT&T the Carrier

Beacon Towers has erected a tower in Caswell County just past Semora going towards Milton on Collie Road.  AT&T is the carrier who plans to co-locate on the tower.  This will help fill in a gap in coverage around Milton and VIR Raceway.  This should support continuous connections from Milton/VIR all way into Roxboro and beyond.

11/1/11 - AT&T Upgrades Hyco Tower to 3G

AT&T who is currently the only carrier on the Hyco Lake cell tower has upgraded their equipment to offer much higher speed 3G technology.  Also, the other AT&T cell towers in Person County were upgraded at the same time.  4G is not yet available here as the deployment occurs in larger cities first. I've tested my phone at speeds 3-5Mbps download.

7/12/11 - CenturyLink Completes DSL Buildout in Person County - What's Next for Those Who Do Not Have High Speed Internet?

CenturyLink recently reported to the Person County Commissioners that they had completed their DSL expansion for Person County with the exception of the area near Hester's Store. (This area has since been completed and is now DSL capable)  There remains primarily 3 areas of Person County that are not covered by high speed Internet.  They include an area on 158 East near the Person/Granville County line, an area near Ephesus Church in the North/Central part of the County and and area East of Triple Springs.  There may be other areas that are also limited due to customers being over 18,000' from remote DSLams.

Person County desires to have a broadband solution for every household in the county.  The areas not served by any carrier will be provided service in the future once a technology is identified and funding is provided.  It has been mentioned that the county may fund or seek federal grant assistance to provide services in these unserved areas.  One solution identified by Electronic Solutions, Inc. of Roxboro (ESI) is to install local neighborhood broadband towers in the areas not currently served. 

ESI estimates that to install neighborhood towers in the areas not served by DSL would cost around $2.4M.  The new standard for broadband is proposed to be 10Mbps download speed.  The current DSL system is capable of providing 10Mbps download in approx. 50% of county households. With IPTV and movie streaming an up and coming feature at home, the demand for more bandwidth is increasing.  Our currently installed DSL is limited in coverage for 10Mbps.

Homeowners who do not have any options for high speed Internet are encouraged to stay vocal with our County Commissioners about the issue.  Commissioner Kyle Puryear has been the representative for the county on the broadband project.  He can be reached at: puryeark@hotmail.com The new wireless broadband system could be in operation within six months of funding approval according to Randy King of Electronic Solutions, Inc.


12/6/10 - Person County Commissioners Adapt Ordinance to Streamline Tower Applications

The Person County Commissioners voted 5-0 in favor of changing the county Planning and Zoning Ordinance to eliminate an outside consultant and reduce the ordinance from 40 pages to approximately 14 to streamline the application process and allow low height broadband towers in residential neighborhoods.  The previous ordinance was developed in 2002 when cell towers were being installed at an aggressive rate to meet the growing demand for service.  During the last couple of years, cell tower construction has all but ceased due to the strain on capital funding and more densely populated areas receiving any available funds.  Person County was one of approximately 18 counties in North Carolina that instituted the aggressive ordinance to slow anticipated growth.  The tower industry thus tagged Person County and the other 17 counties as not being friendly to tower operators and "blacklisted" them causing capital investment to go to counties that were receptive to expansion.  Person County Commissioners were apprised of the situation and asked to reduce the ordinance to an acceptable guideline that was similar to other counties and viewed as favorable to expansion by the industry.  The new ordinance was discussed at the public hearing on 12/6/10.  Jim Stovall from Person County EDC, Gene Hodges Person County Assistant County Manager, Liz Hill from Carolina Wireless Association and Randy King from Electronic Solutions, Inc. all spoke in favor of changing the ordinance to one adapted by Gene Hodges as submitted by Liz Hill from the PCIA (Personal Communications Industry Association).  The new ordinance does not require the expressed use of a consultant to review the applications.  The Center for Municipal Solutions (CMS) had been retained since 2002 to review the applications.  Person County should now be viewed as favorable to the tower industry and our ordinance should facilitate investment of capital involving the telecommunications industry.  For more information, contact Randy King at: randy@esinc.net.

11/29/10 - Hyco Cell Tower Goes Live with AT&T Wireless

AT&T turned up cellular service using their Edge Technology today at Hyco Lake.  After 5 years of pursuit, Hyco Lake is now being served by AT&T and companion T-Mobile. Service has been verified around most of the lake with many locations including most of the waterways getting 4-5 bars of service.  Other carriers have not yet committed to co-locate as yet.  Verizon has a link online to submit comments about their service (or lack thereof) that you can access and voice your opinion about their non-coverage areas at this link: www.eftps.gov/eftps/login/loginInitial  Service is now continual from Roxboro to most sections of the lake without call drops.  The new towers on 501 North have also been turned up serving the Bethel Hill Charter School area and SP Gentry store area.  This also includes most of Mayo Lake.

8/18/10 - Hyco Cell Tower Stacked Out

The long awaited cell tower for Hyco Lake was erected today.  Now electronics will have to be installed and tested so that you can get a signal on your AT&T service!  This normally takes about 30 days assuming no equipment delays.  The tower is 240' tall and should have a range of about 3-5 miles around the lake depending on obstructions.

6/23/10 - Long's Store Road tower goes live with AT&T Service

The new cell tower installed on Long's Store Road near Shore Creek Farm went live today with AT&T being the initial carrier.  The tower is owned by Crown Castle and the first leaser is AT&T Mobility. AT&T does not work with Verizon or US Cellular.

6/22/10 - Construction Starts on Wagstaff Road Tower Site

Access road construction started at Hyco tower site today.  Grading and gravel have been installed in preparation for foundations.  Prior estimates of approx. 20 days will be required to construct tower from initial road building.

5/3/10 - County Commissioners Unanimously Approve Hyco and Two Other Cell Towers

The Person County Commissioners held a public hearing last night to hear a request from American Towers and AT&T Mobile Communications to build 3 communication towers with one to be located on Hyco Lake.  The commissioners approved the applications 5-0. There was no one at the meeting speaking in opposition to any of the 3 sites.  Construction should start immediately according to representatives from American Towers and AT&T.

04/21/10 - County Commissioners to Hear Request for 3 New Cell Towers - One on Hyco Lake

American Tower and AT&T will appear before the Commissioners on May 3 at 7:00 p.m.  There towers are being requested to be built; 1) near Force Protection on 501 North 2) near Bethel Hill Charter School 3) on Wagstaff Road at Hyco Lake.  The public is invited and encouraged to attend this meeting.  This is the final step in the approval process to get a cell tower on Hyco.  You can sign up to speak before the meeting.  The meeting will be held in the County Office Building, Room 215 on the second floor.  Enter the end doors next to Huck Sansbury.

03/17/10 - Planning Board and County Commissioners to Hear Request for 3 New Cell Towers

American Towerís three tower applications (including the application for the tower in the Lake Hyco area) will be heard by the Planning Board on April 15 at 7:00 p.m.  Assuming that the Planning Board makes a recommendation at that meeting, we are hoping to be before the Commissioners on May 3 at 7:00 p.m.  The interested public is encouraged to attend.

03/09/10 - American Tower Projects July 2010 Completion of Wagstaff Road Tower

American Tower is projecting that permitting and construction will be completed on the Wagstaff Road Tower by July.  The first tenant that has agreed to co-locate on the tower is AT&T.

03/08/10 - Crown Castle Begins Construction on Long's Store Road Tower

Crown Castle has begun construction on the cell tower near the intersection of Hwy 57 and Long's Store Road.  The first tenant will be AT&T.

10/23/09 - American Tower to Fly Test Balloon on Wagstaff Road 11/7/09

American Tower, a major cell tower operator, is scheduled to fly a test balloon on Wagstaff Road on Saturday Nov. 7th from 10 - 2 weather permitting.  In case of bad weather, it will fly on Sunday.  The test is to place a balloon at the proposed tower height so that neighbors can view the location.  The proposed tower site is near the intersection of Semora Road and Wagstaff Road now known as Deer Meadow Road.  For more info, contact me at: randy@hycolake.com

7/18/08 - Major Cell Carriers Back Looking at Hyco Site

Two major cell carriers have activity occurring involving the Hyco area.  Both carriers have area sales managers that are aware of the potential market and are building a business case to present to upper management to locate a tower at Hyco.  They both understand the potential impact of customers leaving their current supplier and switching to the Hyco area supplier.  Since the cell phone user market is about tapped out, the future growth will be in users switching to the supplier which provides the best coverage with the best customer service at a competitive price.  The independent tower operator is still looking at potentially locating a tower at Hyco to sub-lease space to cell carriers and broadband Internet carriers such as Electronic Solutions, Inc. who has committed to locating on the new tower if constructed.

1/16/08 - Independent Tower Company Looking at Hyco Lake

There is a independent tower company looking at the feasibility of locating a communications tower on Hyco Lake.  U.S. Cellular has also asked for more information on Hyco Lake.

5/3/07 - AT&T/Cingular Project in Person County Still Active

According to our sources, AT&T/Cingular still has Person County expansion including Hyco Lake rated as "high" on their priority list.  Funding for site expansion is still being evaluated with final determination within the 4-6 weeks.  If funding is approved, activity should start soon on the cell sites.

2/10/07 - Cingular Continues to Lease Tower Sites

We have been informed that Cingular is continuing to lease land for two tower sites near Hyco Lake.  This is encouraging in that it appears Cingular has not abandoned expanding in Person County.  We are currently trying to get a statement from Cingular who is now owned by AT&T concerning the status of the approved tower sites.

10/16/06 - Cingular Stops Construction on All Cell Towers Including Hyco Lake

Cingular has notified us that they have placed all cell tower construction on hold pending the buyout of Cingular's parent company Bell South by AT&T.  This affects all new cell towers in Cingular's system.

It doesn't make sense to us and apparently several people in Cingular since thousand's of dollars have been spent permitting and acquiring land to locate the towers.  Person County cell towers were considered high on their priority list due to the absence of coverage in a large part of the county especially around Hyco Lake.

You can take effort by writing Cingular to express your dismay over their decision.  The people to contact are:
Ms. Allison Hall
V.P. Sales
Cingular Wireless
3800 Arco Corporation Drive - Suite 200
Charlotte, NC 27273

Mr. Hap Hall
Executive Director of Network Operations
Cingular Wireless
1 Marcus Drive - Suite 307
Greenville, SC 29615

Cingular will lose their permits to construct the Person towers around December 1st. This will require a start from scratch for any cell tower company to begin permitting to build towers and take probably another year.  It is imperative that we impress upon Cingular to go forward as they are delaying services to us by holding the permits for the areas around Hyco Lake and Bethel Hill.  No other permits will be allowed until Cingular's are expired.

8/1/2006 - Cingular Wins Approval to Construct Cell Towers

Cingular Wireless received final approval from the County Commissioners to construct 3 cell towers in the Northern section of Person County.  Two of the towers will serve the Hyco Lake area.  Construction is due to be completed within 120 days which should make the towers operational by 11/1/06. Tower locations are noted at the bottom of this page.

7/19/2006 - Cingular to Appear Before County Commissioners

Cingular hopes to receive final approval to construct three cell towers in Person County with two of them to be located in the Hyco Lake area.   

The meeting will be held Tuesday, August 1 at 9:00 A.M. in the County Office Building in room 215.  Public support is vital to insure the Commissioners are aware of the need of the communications in these areas.  You may also contact each Commissioner to let them know you are in support of the towers.
Jimmy Clayton - jimmyb31@hotmail.com  364-8520
Johnny Lunsford - jlunsford@esinc.net  599-5290
Larry Bowes - lhbowes@esinc.net  599-7122
Larry Yarborough - yarbo@hughes.net  503-8282
Roy Holler - mrholler@charter.net  599-1766

7/14/06 - Cingular Wins Approval from Consultant and P.C. Planning Board

Cingular representatives and several citizens spoke in favor of the three tower sites Thursday night before the Person County Planning Board.  The Board voted unanimously to recommend to the County Commissioners that the three sites be approved for 250' cell towers.  The towers will be able to accommodate up to 5 carriers for co-location in the future.  If approved by the County Commissioners in August, Cingular has agreed to have the towers operational within 120 days.

The county consultant Rusty Monroe spoke very favorably concerning the communications with Cingular during the review of Cingular's applications.  Mr. Monroe was very complimentary concerning the responsiveness of Cingular's attorney Karen Kermerait in addressing any questions or request for additional information.

We will advise when the County Commissioners will meet in August to hear the recommendation of the planning board.  If you have the opportunity, please let your County Commissioners know you support the cell tower applications and would appreciate expedited approval and construction. You may contact the Commissioners at this link. (Click Here)

6/26/06 - Cingular to Appear Before Planning Board

Cingular will appear before the Person County Planning Board on Thursday July 13, 2006 to hopefully receive approval for three cell towers - two at Hyco Lake and one at Bethel Hill.  Support is needed from the community to insure the cell tower applications are approved.  Please plan to be at the Person County Office Building at 304 South Morgan Street in the Commissioner's board room on the second floor in room 215.  

The hearing begins at 7:00 PM. The only reported "sticking" point is that the County Consultant is taking exception to the extension of the antennas from the tower.  Cingular Engineering desires to locate beyond the 24" limitation to increase area coverage and reduce the need for additional towers.  Cingular contends that the extension beyond 24" on a lattice tower is not noticeable and should be allowed to increase coverage.  We support Cingular in both allowing the 250' towers and the variance on the extension of the antennas. If you have any questions, email us at: randy@esinc.net.

5/8/06 - Cingular Delivers Applications to Person County Planning

Cingular has delivered applications for three towers to be located in Person County with two being in the Hyco Lake Area. Normal process should have the applications approved within 30 days by the County and the consultant.  Once the applications are approved, build-out is around 60 days so that puts the tower erection in August or September.  We will advise when the applications are approved.

4/10/06 - Cingular Wireless "flys" Locator Balloon at Hyco

Cingular Wireless flew a locator balloon on Monday to give local residents and landowners a representative elevation and location of their intended tower site.  The balloon was flown on Wagstaff Road. 

Cingular Wireless has identified two sites in the Northwestern part of Person County for locating cell towers this year.  Their schedule calls for making application to the Person County Planning Board within the next 30 days.  

Application for cell sites have to meet the County ordinance for cell sites before going to the planning board. You may read the ordinance at this link: http://www.personcounty.net

If you are interested in being informed about the activities and plans concerning the cell tower application and progress, please contact me at: randy@esinc.net or place your name on our opt-in mail list by putting JOIN in the subject line of an email at this address: hyco-request@esinc.net 

You may also view statistics for the Hyco Lake area at this link concerning justification for expansion of telecommunication services (Click Here)

You may also contact the County Commissioners, the County Manager and the Planning Board members to let them know you are in total support for cell services at Hyco Lake.

The green triangles below indicate the proposed locations of new cell sites planned by Cingular.



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