Bristol Virginia Utilities Board’s (BVU) Southwest Virginia Middle Mile Project is a 388-mile fiber addition to its existing network that would bring up to 10 Gbps middle mile service to a rural, eight-county region of southwestern Appalachian Virginia. Seven of the eight targeted counties qualify as economically distressed, with per-capita incomes that are 80 percent or less of the national average. All eight counties lack adequate broadband services. Building on BVU’s existing network, the project aims to spur connections and improved service to an estimated 120 community anchor institutions, 5,600 households, and 220 businesses in Bland, Buchanan, Dickenson, Russell, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, and Wythe Counties.
|Bristol Virginia Utilities Board||$22,698,010||Infrastructure|
|Buggs Island Telephone Cooperative||$18,983,648||Infrastructure|
|Center for Innovative Technology||$8,099,979||Broadband Data & Development|
|Citizens Telephone Co-Operative||$9,237,760||Infrastructure|
|Communication Service for the Deaf, Inc.||$14,988,657||Sustainable Adoption|
|County of Rockbridge||$6,993,399||Infrastructure|
|Mid-Atlantic Broadband Cooperative||$10,023,247||Infrastructure|
|Mid-Atlantic Broadband Cooperative – Southern Virginia||$16,044,290||Infrastructure|
|Nelson County of Virginia||$1,826,646||Infrastructure|
|One Economy Corporation||$28,519,482||Sustainable Adoption|
|Page County Broadband Authority||$1,648,941||Infrastructure|
|University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development||$62,540,162||Infrastructure|
|Virginia Tech Foundation, Inc.||$5,540,000||Infrastructure|
The BIT Wireless Broadband Initiative project plans to bring high-speed affordable broadband services to 15 underserved counties and the cities of Emporia and Franklin in South Central Virginia by expanding and enhancing its existing high-speed broadband and voice communications wireless network. The BIT Wireless project intends to offer wireless broadband at speeds of up to 10 Mbps to as many as 100,000 households, 14,800 businesses, and 800 community anchor institutions. In addition, the project will promote broadband adoption by discounting the cost of the equipment necessary to subscribe at home.
State Broadband Capacity Building:
The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) will oversee a research project to assess the availability and adoption of broadband as it relates to the telemedicine, telehealth, and electronic medical records infrastructure at health care anchor institutions. It will also lead a separate research project that analyzes comprehensive data from businesses and organizations, households and institutions to produce a broadband infrastructure and adoption strategic plan for Virginia. Both of these projects will target areas with BTOP/RUS investments.
Technical Assistance: This project will support direct technical assistance to unserved and underserved communities throughout the state, and will help these communities identify the actions needed to improve broadband availability and adoption.
In partnership with Virginia Tech and VGIN, CIT will provide technical assistance to tribes across the country as they seek to participate in state broadband mapping projects. The project team will closely coordinate with the Federal Communications Commission’s Native Nations Broadband Task Force, and seek input from tribal leaders knowledgeable in this area.
Data Collection, Integration, and Validation:
This project was originally funded for broadband planning activities and two years of data collection. In September of 2010, this project was amended to extend data collection activities for an additional three years and to identify and implement best practices.
Many of the community anchor institutions in the rural seven-county New River Valley region of Virginia are unable to access high-speed, affordable broadband services. To help address this problem, Citizens Telephone Co-Operative proposes to construct 186 miles of new fiber to expand and enhance their existing network through its New River Valley Regional Open Access Network project. The project proposes to deploy the new fiber in Wythe, Pulaski, Floyd, Giles, Montgomery, Roanoke, and Botetourt counties, significant portions of which are economically distressed. Citizens Telephone plans to enhance services for state and local emergency services providers while connecting both campuses of the New River Community College as well as four public school systems.
Broadband’s ability to expand educational and employment opportunities is especially meaningful for Americans who are deaf or hard of hearing, a community that faces unique challenges in education and that suffers from a rate of unemployment much higher than the national average. Communication Service for the Deaf, Inc. (CSD) intends to expand broadband adoption among people who are deaf and hard of hearing and provide them with online tools to more fully participate in the digital economy. The project proposes to employ a combination of discounted broadband service and specialized computers, technology training from an online state-of-the art support center customized to the community’s needs, public access to videophones at anchor institutions from coast to coast, and a nationwide outreach initiative. Thousands will gain online access to all the Internet has to offer, including sign language interpreters, captioned video services, and other content and functionalities designed especially to advance their educational, employment, and healthcare interests.
With many of its residents still relying on dial-up and copper-based services, the County of Rockbridge, Virginia, estimates the region has a broadband adoption rate below 40 percent. Through the Rockbridge Area Network Authority (RANA), a public-private partnership that includes local governments and Washington and Lee University, the Rockbridge Broadband Initiative proposes to construct 134 miles of new fiber in west central Virginia to bring broadband services to community anchor institutions in support of improved healthcare, education, and public safety in the region. The new network is intended to cover the entire community, reaching as far north as Goshen and as far south as Natural Bridge, and would include two segments running west from Lexington to Collierstown and Kerrs Creek and east to Buena Vista. The project also proposes to link 95 percent of all public safety entities, mitigating the area’s decades-old public safety communication challenges created by mountainous terrain.
To address the need for broadband infrastructure in the economically distressed region of eastern Virginia including Franklin, Southampton, Isle of Wight, Surrey, and Suffolk, the Mid-Atlantic Broadband Cooperative (MBC) proposes to construct 170 miles of new fiber to complement its existing network in southeastern Virginia, providing backbone speeds of up to 100 Gbps. The Middle Mile Expansion for Eastern Virginia project proposes to enhance education in the region by enabling schools to access upgraded, higher capacity services at affordable rates, offer expanded distance learning opportunities, and remote teaching, video conferencing, and testing. The network also plans to enable greatly improved telemedicine, especially radiological imaging and the improved use of electronic medical records.
The Middle Mile Expansion for Southern Virginia project proposes to add 465 miles of new fiber to an existing 800-mile fiber network, focused on directly connecting 121 K-12 schools, a majority of which are in unserved and underserved areas of southern Virginia. The expanded fiber network expects to improve connection speeds for these schools from 1.5 Mbps to at least 10 Mbps, with a goal of 100 Mbps. The new fiber connections are expected to allow these schools, many in isolated areas, to take advantage of distance learning and virtual classroom opportunities. The service area includes 12 counties in Southern Virginia, and includes the cities of Danville, Emporia, and Martinsville near the North Carolina border.
The Nelson County Virginia Broadband Project plans to enhance and expand broadband Internet services in unserved and underserved areas of rural Nelson County, Virginia, by deploying 31 miles of new fiber and four new wireless tower sites, and directly connecting 13 community anchor institutions. The anchor institutions expected to receive direct connections to the new network are seven county government facilities, four K-12 schools, the Blue Ridge Medical Center, and one library. The project plans to provide speeds from 10 Mbps up to 1 Gbps and spur more affordable broadband Internet service for as many as 1,500 households, 250 businesses, and an additional 30 community anchor institutions by allowing Internet service providers to connect to the project’s open network.
The 21st Century Information and Support Ecosystem project proposes to implement a comprehensive program of computer training, wireless Internet access, broadband awareness marketing, and online content and applications to residents of 159 affordable and public housing developments and low-income communities in 50 cities and towns across 31 states and the District of Columbia. The project plans to implement four principal programs: training 2,500 youth to become “Digital Connectors” who will then provide digital literacy training to others in their communities; deploying localized broadband networks in public housing developments; developing online content and applications aimed at low-income, low-literacy audiences.
Page County Broadband Authority plans to deploy a 39-mile fiber network that will serve the four principal towns in Page County, Virginia, a rural and underserved area in the Shenandoah region of Western Virginia. The network expects to directly connect 29 anchor institutions including eleven K-12 schools, three libraries, six health care facilities, Lord Fairfax Community College, and eight public safety institutions. The project intends to provide speeds from 100 Mbps to 4 Gbps and spur more affordable broadband Internet service for local consumers, including as many as 6,300 households, 700 businesses, and an additional 24 anchor institutions, by enabling any local Internet service provider to connect to the project’s open network. The network also plans to support the new Premier Technical Services Data Center, which provides administrative services for federal and state government programs.
As part of a longstanding project to connect essential community anchor institutions across the country, and facilitate closer collaboration and long-term benefits for education, research, healthcare, public safety, and government services, the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development (UCAID) proposes a comprehensive 50-state network benefitting approximately 121,000 community anchors. The project proposes a large-scale, public-private partnership to interconnect more than 30 existing research and education networks, creating a dedicated 100-200 Gbps nationwide fiber backbone with 3.2 terabits per second (TBps) total capacity that would enable advanced networking features such as IPv6 and video multicasting. The project plans to connect community anchors across all disciplines into virtual communities with shared goals and objectives, including colleges, universities, libraries, major veterans and other health care facilities, and public safety entities, with additional benefits to tribes, vulnerable populations, and government entities.
The Virginia Tech Foundation (VTF) proposes to construct a 110-mile open access fiber-optic network between Blacksburg in Montgomery County to Bedford City in Bedford County in its Allegheny Fiber Project. VTF is partnering with Mid-Atlantic Broadband Cooperative (MBC) to extend the Cooperative's fiber-optic footprint to unserved and underserved communities in the Appalachian region. The resulting network would cross six counties in Virginia’s Appalachian region and provide direct high-speed connections to Virginia Tech’s main campus in Blacksburg and the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine in Roanoke. Improved capacity and speed will enhance the ability for both institutions to collaborate on cutting-edge medical and other scientific research with institutions in the United States and abroad. The project proposes network speeds from 10 Gbps to 200 Gbps and could offer point-to-point, private line services ranging from 10Mbps through 10Gbps.