Nelson County, VA
RELEASE VIA CVEC:
Nelson County and Firefly Fiber BroadbandSM (Firefly) announced the transfer of the fiber optic middle mile network previously operated by the Nelson County Broadband Authority (NCBA) to Firefly for future operation as part of the growing Firefly fiber optic network bringing reliable, affordable broadband to rural Central Virginia. The transfer serves as part of an inventive agreement that will result in more than 9,500 homes and businesses having gigabit level broadband service available to them over the next four years.
Firefly Fiber BroadbandSM, owned by the members of Central Virginia Electric Cooperative (CVEC), is already leasing and operating the fiber optic network being built out by CVEC throughout its footprint touching 14 counties. As part of the transfer, Firefly agreed to extend fiber to areas beyond and adjacent to the CVEC territory reaching another 1,000 homes and businesses. These extensions will help reach 85% of all county locations within the next four years. With this partnership, Nelson County will become one of the best-connected counties in the state and in the U.S. “We are excited about the transfer of the county fiber, which will allow us to play a role in delivering true high speed broadband throughout Nelson County as we work to bridge the digital divide in all of Central Virginia,” says Gary Wood CEO of Firefly Fiber BroadbandSM.
Nelson County Administrator Steve Carter stated, “the transfer of Nelson County’s middle mile network to Firefly Fiber BroadbandSM was unanimously approved by the County’s Board of Supervisors and the members of the Nelson County Broadband Authority. The Firefly project will be the realization of the Board of Supervisors’ goal of universal access to affordable, reliable, high speed broadband service to Nelson County’s businesses and residents, which the County’s local government has worked very hard to realize. The County commends the leadership of CVEC and its Firefly subsidiary for the incredible commitment that has been made to serve Nelson County and Central VA. The Firefly project demonstrates that rural communities like Nelson County are progressive, forward thinking, and capable of achievement beyond constraints and expectations.”
A recent study from the Weldon Cooper Center showed that Nelson County has the second highest percentage of workers who telecommute for their work. The fiber network being spread across the county will enhance opportunities for remote workers as well as serve to attract new businesses to the area.
For the next few months, Firefly will continue to operate the former Nelson County fiber network under the same rules and rates as set previously by the county. Firefly intends to seek methods to lower the cost of operating the network to allow lower wholesale rates to be offered to all ISPs who provide service from the middle mile system. When Firefly is able to offer lower wholesale rates, Firefly will also sign on to be a retail provider on the network and offer the same services and pricing it offers on the CVEC fiber system. Other ISPs will also continue to provide retail services from the former Nelson County fiber network.
As part of the incentive agreement with the County, fiber has been built out from the Martin’s Store substation area in its first phase of construction. Martin’s Store is the largest substation area in the CVEC territory and its buildout will extend fiber past more than 4,500 locations. In addition, the Wintergreen area is being built out and will allow Firefly to extend availability to another 2,200 homes and businesses. Firefly is presently connecting customers in these areas and will continue through spring of this year to connect all who sign up for one of their two internet services and/or their voice over IP service: Firefly Light (100 megabits per second upload and download) for $49.99 per month; Firefly Flash (1 gigabit per second upload and download) for $79.99; and Firefly Voice for $34.99 with a $5.00 discount if bundled with an internet service.
By mid-year crews building fiber will move into the Colleen substation area, expanding service south along Route 29 and throughout Tye River to give access to more than 110 additional locations in the county. Internet service to these locations will be offered by Firefly. In future years, the fiber construction and service will be extended in Nelson County to Gladstone, Schuyler and Piney River substation areas of the CVEC territory. For information on availability or services from Firefly, visit their website www.fireflyva.com.
Headquartered in Palmyra, VA, Firefly Fiber BroadbandSM is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Central Virginia Electric Cooperative. Firefly offers lightning fast internet via fiber to the premise that is reliable and priced fairly with no hidden equipment costs or price increases. Firefly has no contracts, no data caps or slowdowns and offers symmetrical upload and download speeds. Firefly Light offers 100 mbps for $49.99; Firefly Flash offers 1 gbps for $79.99; and Firefly Voice is $35.99 with a $5.00 discount when bundled with the internet. For more information, visit www.fireflyva.com.