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Over 600 people petition for better cell reception in Tuckahoe

Posted at 6:34 PM, Oct 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-13 18:41:38-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. — More than 600 residents in Henrico Couny have signed a petition asking Verizon to improve cell service in Tuckahoe.

Thomas Walls, who reached out the CBS 6 Problem Solvers over issues with cell reception inside his home, said he spends most days in his family room since that is the only place he can receive a strong enough signal to make a call.

“If there’s an emergency, we don’t have a way to communicate out in a dependable fashion — not at all,” Walls explained.

Thomas Walls

Thomas Walls

Walls lives in Henrico’s Far West End near the Collegiate School where Verizon’s cell service is spotty at best.

Walls said he noticed the problem shortly after he moved in.

“We noticed that calls were being dropped, both voice and text, [and we] couldn’t call out,” Walls said.

Nearly 600 Verizon customers have signed a petition pushing for change.

Nearly 600 Verizon customers have signed a petition pushing for change.

Walls, who said he has been a loyal Verizon customer for 25 years, complained to the company about the poor reception.

“They said, ‘Yes, we are aware that there is a marginal problem in that area,'” Walls said. “And really they suggested an enhanced signal booster that I could buy. They didn`t offer it to provide me one.”

Walls is among the more than 600 customers in the Tuckahoe who signed a petition pushing for change.

“I’m very disappointed that right here in my own neighborhood that I can’t count on it,” Walls said.

Verizon statement

Verizon statement

A Verizon spokesperson provided this statement to the CBS 6 Problem Solvers in response to our inquiry:

“We have heard our customers’ concerns regarding service in this area and our network team has actively been pursuing commercial properties for new macro cell sites — known as cell towers — for several years. While there are viable locations to place new cell sites that would address issues, we have been challenged in finding property owners to partner with us.

While we continue to pursue willing partners for macro cell sites, we are concurrently pursuing an alternative strategy using small call technology. Small cells are typically placed on existing structures like utility poles and traffic lights, and consist of a radio, an antenna, and power and fiber connections.”

In the interim, if you have Wi-Fi available at home, we recommend activating Wi-Fi Calling; click here for more information on how to get that set up. This will use your home’s Wi-Fi connection to provide service in areas of your home or business where the signal from outside may be weaker. A Network Extender, which functions as a miniature cell site and boosts wireless signal where needed, is another option.

CBS 6 News is working for you. Click here to email a tip to the CBS 6 Problem Solvers. Be sure to leave us your name, phone number and detailed description of the problem. You can also leave a message by calling 804-254-3672.

Need help? Contact the CBS 6 Problem Solvers.

Need help? Contact the CBS 6 Problem Solvers.