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Fact Sheet On Munis In Virginia
The latest addition to our list of fact sheets focuses on Virginia: Municipal Networks Deliver Local Benefits. We noticed that municipal networks in the “Mother of States” have spurred economic development, saved taxpayer dollars, and improved local connectivity.
A number of local governments in Virginia that have invested in Internet network infrastructure have attracted Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to use the publicly owned assets to offer services to residents and businesses. Local governments are using fiber-optic networks to improve public safety, take control of their own connectivity needs, and attract or retain employers.
Learn more about the Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority (RVBA) open access network, located in southwest Virginia. Christopher spoke with Frank Smith, President and CEO of the RVBA for episode 221 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast.
Take a look at our other fact sheets; we will continue to add state-specific editions so check back for more. Subscribe to our weekly email for a run down of stories so you can stay up-to-date on what's happening in community broadband networks.
The Wired Road Now A Gigabit Network
The Wired Road, a community-owned open access network, provides affordable fiber connectivity in rural Virginia. The network recently upgraded and now offers Gigabit commercial service in the Blue Ridge Crossroads region. From the press release:
“America only has a few networks offering 1 Gigabit Broadband Services; it’s awesome that we have that technology here in our backyard,” Stated Scarlett McGrady with The Wired Road Authority. "Availability of technologies like this is vital for this area to grow," said McGrady.
The network still offers fiber and wireless services at basic speeds to private and business customers in Carroll and Grayson Counties. The Wired Road encourages competitive rates for the region with its open access model. Lingo Networks, 1Point Communications, and LSNet all offer Internet access to Wired Road customers.
For more on The Wired Road story, listen to Christopher interview McGrady in Episode 31 of the Broadband Bits Podcast.
Congrats to the people and businesses in The Wired Road service area!
Fiber in the Highest Virginia Appalachians
Mount Rogers, Virginia, has the distinction of being the highest elevation in the state. Located in Grayson County, the town is in the
southeastern southwestern part of the state, high in the Appalachian Mountains. Needless to say, the region is challenged geographically when it comes to getting their residents and businesses connected to the Internet. Nearby communities include the Town of Galax and Carroll County. A large portion of the area was unserved or undeserved.
Growing out of these three entities and the Blue Ridge Crossroads Economic Development Authority (BRCEDA), the Wired Road Authority is expanding access for local business and residents, many of whom are still on dial-up. A recently completed phase involved renovation of Grant's 100 year old Grange Hall, a radio tower, a fiber link from the tower to the Garnge Hall, and a new computer lab. The second phase of the project will bring FTTH connections to 100 homes in Grant.
Scarlett McGrady, Director of the Grant Community Computing Center, tells us that the Wired Road Authority owns the network and that customers purchase services from private sector providers on the open access network. Right now, Internet and VoIP is available with plans for HD Television, telehealth services, security services, and backup services.
Funding for the project comes from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification Commission, the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Carroll County Public Schools, the Crossroads Institute, and the governments of Carroll County, Grayson County and the City of Galax.