Bryan Edwards says he's begged the city of Lubbock since 1993 to fix the problem.
"At some point, there is poor contact between the transmission line and the insulators or even something that is a ground. It's causing a spark between the conductors," Bryan describes part of the problem with numerous power lines within Lubbock.
But letter after letter, and phone call after phone call, he says the city never did anything. "There are 44 sites like that. They're everywhere," he pointed out.
Bryan says he is the one who filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission. In 1993, Bryan noticed the reception on his ham radio had strange interference. So one day, he jumped in his van to search where the interference may be coming from. "Xcel is on this side of the street and LP&L is on the left side of the street on this location," he said.
Bryan says he was shocked to learn it was coming from power lines and he found it simply with his AM radio inside his van. "The radio station is there, you can hear it. No problem whatsoever. We're going to drive over here under the LP&L lines," the radio had lost its reception.
Bryan says he complained to the city about 50 times over a period of 14 years. He even went as far as bringing an engineer in 2005 to Lubbock to investigate. Bryan says he quickly learned he was not the only one who was having a problem.
"If you've got someone in your alley, people come up to you and ask what are you doing out here. We explained it to them. We've got all sorts of problems revealed. People will say that's why my cordless phone won't work. One of the ladies said 'is that why I can't listen to the Tech ballgame?'," explained Bryan.
Bryan says he knows of an incident that happened ten years ago where the power lines burned in two and caused a woman's tree and fence on 34th Street to catch fire. The engineer report was given to the city.
Then in May, an FCC investigator was sent to Lubbock after Bryan complained the problem still existed. Now the FCC is letting both LP&L and Xcel Energy know the feds are serious. In a citation given to both companies, they were ordered to work together to resolve the issues once and for all.
In fact, the day the feds were in Lubbock this spring, they told LP&L to fix a problem at 66th and Memphis. Bryan says the FCC told the power companies to have the power line problem fixed by February 2009, which is the date the feds want high definition signals to all televisions.
"People who are in the area with the 'noise,' instead of receiving a picture like they normally do from the TV, they're simply going to get a blue screen like Windows gone bad," Bryan described.
We have contacted folks with Xcel Energy and LP&L and both companies say they have a plan to identify and fix these problem spots. If they don't, Bryan told NC11 they could fine each company $10,000 a day for violating federal law.
If you see strange sparking from power lines near your homes or you experience interference with your electronics, call your electric company.
You can read the citation on our website, where it identifies all 44 problematic locations. We have also provided correspondence letters we obtained between the city and the FCC.
NEW INFORMATION: AUGUST 30TH, 2007. LP&L AND XCEL GO MORE IN-DEPTH ABOUT SOLVING POWER LINE ELECTRICAL INTERFERENCE. read article:
|LP&L's Response to FCC Citation|
|Xcel Energy's Response|
|get more>> Web Enhanced|
Investigations on Lubbock Powerlines and Correspondence between the City and the FCC