Letters to the Editor

Verizon's 4G service great news for island

During the Hilton Head Island mayoral race, I talked a lot about the need to improve cell service on Hilton Head.

Our new mayor, Drew Laughlin, has asked me to help out on that issue, and I am eager to get started. In that light, I want to report that Verizon's recent decision to bring its new 4G wireless service to the island this year is great news. The reason has more to do with the radio spectrum that Verizon will be using than the greatly increased data speeds associated with fourth generation wireless service.

In 2009, the Federal Communications Commission required TV stations to stop offering analog television. That meant you had to get a digital converter box or subscribe to a cable or satellite service. The FCC did that to free up the 700 MHz spectrum analog television used so it could be auctioned off to cellular companies who were running out of spectrum to provide service. Verizon bought much of that 700 MHz spectrum and will use it to provide its new 4G service.

Trees are the No. 1 culprit for bad cell phone service on Hilton Head. Where there are a lot of trees, 700 MHz is much better than the spectrum previously available. It also works better when you are inside a building, and it requires fewer towers. There is still a lot of work to do to improve our island's cell service, but this is a great step in the right direction.

Jim CollettHilton Head Island