Scotland County’s community access television channel is back online after nearly two weeks off air due to the failure of a major hardware component.
Channel 2 operator/manager Sean Moore said that the station came back online late Thursday afternoon.
“I’m happy to report that the latest meetings of the city council, county commissioners and the board of education as well as all other regular program began in earnest (Thursday) afternoon,” Moore said.
Primarily responsible for broadcasting civic meetings, public service announcements, church events and a community calendar slide show the 24-hour channel went dark after what Moore called an equipment failure last month.
The failed component, which he said is the hardware centerpiece of the channel, was under warranty and was sent away to be replaced by Moore.
Anticipating holiday shipping delays, Moore accurately predicted at the time that the station would be off air for about two weeks.
The hardware installation was done by the Raleigh-based Imagenation Systems firm.
According to Moore, meetings that were scheduled to have been broadcast during the last two weeks will be aired as soon as possible.
City council meetings are also available online through the city of Laurinburg’s web site.
County Clerk Ann Kurtzman said that prior to the announcement in The Exchange that the station was offline there had been no calls into the county to inquire about the status of the station. City officials reported that they had fielded no phone calls in the days immediately after the outage, as well.
Somewhat disappointed at what that fact might mean, Kurtzman said that she has received several calls in the time since from locals saying that they did notice the outage.
“Some of them said that they would have called but they just figured that it was being worked on and would be fixed anyway,” Kurtzman said, comparing the situation to a power outage where many people fail to call the power company because they assume that someone else already has.
“(The channel) is essential,” Kurtzman said.