Red Bay residents left to wonder why they lack 3G service
It’s not surprising that Red Bay residents are less than pleased that communities all around them are finally enjoying 3G service from AT&T but Red Bay isn’t scheduled to receive the same service until after 2011.
According to Dave Hargrove, a governmental affairs representative for AT&T’s North Alabama coverage area who spoke to the council Monday night, Red Bay isn’t listed on the 2011 schedule but he said he would see if he could get the date moved closer.
“Our mission statement says we want to connect people to wherever they live, work or play and do it better than anyone else,” Hargrove said. “Our customers have very high expectations. They want a device to work the same everywhere and we’re trying to do that everyday but in rural Alabama it’s harder.”
Councilmen Brad Bolton and Mike Kennedy made the point that they can pick up 3G service on their cell phones in Vina and just a few miles over the state line in Mississippi, so they didn’t understand why the service didn’t extend to Red Bay.
“The [3G issue] isn’t solved by simply turning a switch on at a tower,” Hargrove explained. “It’s an issue of capital expense, coverage and capacity… The selection for this service is also based on where the highest daily usage customers are.”
Bolton said with the city’s new industrial park and the impending plans to move forward on that project, he was concerned what the lack of 3G service would do in terms of industrial recruiting.
“This service is something our town really needs to remain competitive,” Bolton said, “not to mention that we already have national companies like Tiffin Motorhomes, Sunshine Mills and Sunshine Homes that need access to this data.”
Hargrove said he would take the information provided by the council back to company officials and would get back to the council when a decision had been made about when Red Bay could expect 3G service.
In other business, the council addressed the following issues:
• Approved the city attorney, Sen. Roger Bedford, to create a new animal ordinance that would be in compliance with the new euthanasia law.
• Approved specifications to purchase a backhoe and a leaf machine for the city.
• Re-appointed all members except for one to the Dixie Youth Board. The open position will be posted for two weeks at the Red Bay City Hall.
Mayor Bobby Forsythe said the new hours for the landfill would be from 7:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Forsythe also said before July 31, the street department would pick up the tab for storm debris clean-up, but after that date it would be the responsibility of each citizen.