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Planning and Community Development
Surry County Broadband Access

Broadband Implementation Improvement Grant Update

Below a link is provided to a PowerPoint summary of the January 20, 2015 Broadband Project Management team meeting.    Meeting participants thought it prudent to provide an update regarding the Broadband project and model for delivery of services, in light of inquiries related to the launch of wireless broadband service county wide and the impending May 1, 2015 grant agreement deadline.   We elected to provide a bulleted listing of points regarding the project as follows:

 

-          Surry County developed relationships commencing in early 2005 with varied funding agencies to include USDA, NTIA and the VDHCD to aid in implementing a broadband fiber network to support local businesses, community service facilities and residential constituents via wireless connectivity

-          After receipt of a Comprehensive Improvement Grant from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, the County partnered with Mid-Atlantic Broadband (MBC) for the installation of a municipal-owned fiber network.  To date 23,000 linear feet of fiber has been deployed and connects the County’s government seat, Town of Surry, the community service facilities located within the Town and the Surry West Industrial Park.

-          November 2013, Surry County’s fiber network was lit and now offers circuits to its businesses that has greater reliability, increased bandwidth, and costs that are significantly lower than a T1 line.  In short, the local network offers more service, which is dedicated per subscriber, with greater reliability, for less cost.  

-          Surry County with the support of its business partners, is delighted that to date the prescriptive job creation requirements outlined as a funding condition, 30, were exceeded by >500%,  160 jobs created.

-          Edwards Hamm and Windsor One partnered with Surry County to meet grant conditions and were immediately connected to the fiber network.  A fiber service provider has been contracted, rates have been set and other businesses can subscribe/buy fiber services at their discretion.

-          The last phase of the Broadband Grant project is actively being implemented and consists of a 350’ lattice style communication tower located off Commerce Drive.  The tower will be designed with loadings to support both our public safety communication infrastructure and two or more wireless carriers that will have access to the County owned fiber network truncating at the tower base.   We will actively seek relationships with carriers to offer internet services to our constituents by offering access to our infrastructure at discounted rates.   This model seeks to gain entry of wireless internet service providers to the community by surmounting the obstacle they previously expressed regarding high infrastructure costs in comparison to the sparse population and limited potential subscribers.  The infrastructure costs in this model have been fully borne by the County.

-          We would like to offer a word of caution.  The wireless market is different today than when we initially commenced this project and where before larger carriers evidenced minimal interest in entering our local market, today we would not be surprised if these same carriers alongside smaller wireless providers are desirous of access to the County owned facilities for the purpose of offering subscriber services, albeit at much more competitive rates than represented in 2010. 

PDF PowerPoint Broadband Project Management Team meeting 1/20/15 

 

 

MOST RECENT BROADBAND UPDATE:

Article January 2016