Verizon Wireless has set up a portable cell phone antenna system at FloydFest this year to try and help those who depend on their phones for calls, texting and data.
Even with the system, called COW (Cell on Wheels), wireless service at the massive site just off the Blue Ridge Parkway will be hit or miss at best.
Verizon phones are about the only ones that work anywhere on the FloydFest site. AT&T doesn’t even list the area in its cell phone coverage area and other providers, including buy-as-you-go services like TracPhone, get their service from the primary provider in the area where the phone is purchased.
Which means if you bought a TracPhone in Floyd, the service comes through Verizon but similar phones bought in Roanoke or Christiansburg are served by AT&T which offers no service in Floyd County or most of the areas of the Parkway.
Linda DeVito of FloydFest says the Verizon COW will be a big help. Verizon says the availability of wireless service depends on how many people are using it and for the type of service. Texting and data services increase demand and can cause problems.
Which means those going to FloydFest should go for the music, fun, food and games and wait until they get back to their home areas to text.