“They’ve gotta fix this problem It’s a huge problem.”
I had just answered the phone and had no idea who was on the other line. The
shaky voice belonged to Barbara Devries, an elderly woman who was trying to
contact her friend Amelia who lives at the Wingley House retirement home
apartment in Ashburn.
When Barbara called, I already knew what was happening – a man had called in
before her with the same problem, except that he heard a Chinese talk radio show
in English over his land line.
The interference and static on the line stems from the increased wattage of
the radio station formerly known as WAGE. The station now has new call letters,
WCRW at the 1190 AM dial, as well as a ten-fold increase in its wattage to
50,000 watts. The station sounds out from its three 195-foot lattice-tower AM
radio transmitters in Ashburn.
The increased wattage left many Loudoun residents in its sound wake,
including Barbara’s friend Amelia. Like Barbara and Amelia, my 98 year-old
grandma fits all of her entertainment, news and gossip from the phone line.
These women are most likely the same. The phone line is their blood line.
Thankfully, there is a solution. The ever-gracious president of New World
Radio, the station’s owner, Alan Pendleton saiid the interference is a common
issue with AM stations. But, the resolution comes from the individual
telecommunications providers that have to replace or add on a filter to quelch
The county is working on a solution and Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio, who had
not yet heard of the issue and was in a rare state of speechlessness, said he
would set out to get a solution right away.
Barbara has a theory, “Instead of all these smartphones, I think we should go
back to smoke signals.”
In the meantime, if you’re having interefence, don’t hesitate to call me,
your local statictician.
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