Nelson County, VA
Representatives from Blue Ridge InternetWorks (BRI) met with the Nelson County Broadband Authority and the Nelson Board of Supervisors Tuesday night to discuss more about their plans as they prepare to rollout high speed broadband fiber internet to parts of Nelson County. BRI was recently selected at the network operator and a provider for the service.”As of tonight we already have about 300 or more inquires about our service from people in Nelson County,” said Baylor Fooks of BRI. The BRI duo told the board most of those were in the Afton zipcode thus far.
Also discussed by BRI was a possible plan of extended the current network beyond where it’s physically in the ground by merging it with copper technology. “It’s involved, but we are looking at extending the reach of the fiber network to others by using existing phone company copper pairs. This works approximately 3 miles out from the fiber connection giving subscribers DSL type speeds,” Baylor continued. The move would allow for many others to use the network in addition to those connected directly to fiber or by wireless services. Though approval wold have to come from companies like Verizon to lease their copper, Baylor said it is allowed by law.
More discussion continued into the meeting about rates. Several supervisors and BRI representatives said that while the curent business class rate structures were a good starting point (several hundred dollars a month) a vast majority of small to medium businesses, nor residences, could budget that for internet costs.
Clay Stewart of Stewart Computer Services also told the board he’s excited about the prospects of working together with BRI and the county to widen reach of his current wireless network that is already heavily concentrated in the southern part of Nelson, but expanding quickly into Afton. He too expressed concern about having affordable wholesale rates from the county.
As the meeting closed BRI said they should have some firm numbers worked up soon to see what the exact costs might look like to consumers. Committee members will meet with BRI in the coming weeks to get into more details about rates and installation charges.
More history on the fiber internet project in Nelson County here.