On the price of broadband

Published 1:21 pm Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Eighty-four million dollars — that is the price tag for complete broadband for the 20 counties that stretch from Sussex to Patrick, from the North Carolina line to Buckingham. The greatest number of complaints we have received over the last decade has been the lack of broadband service. A careful study of the required cost of making broadband available to these 20 counties would be $84 million.

The region has a population of about 500,000 people. Of those, about 200,000 currently have service through some method. That amounts to more than 250 per person, not household — but per person, for the remaining 300,000 citizens.

Therefore, we must find a solution using mixed resources and take one bite at a time.

One piece of the solution may be a test that will be revealed in a couple of weeks in Charlotte, Halifax, and the Brookneal/Gladys area of Campbell. This is a partnership that included Microsoft, the Tobacco Commission and Mid-Atlantic Broadband Inc.

Currently, Mecklenburg and Southside Electric cooperatives are being kept abreast of the successes and challenges that the Prince George Cooperatives faces.

Each has expressed interest in doing the same.  In my opinion, this is great.

Frank Ruff represents Lunenburg in the state Senate. His email address is Sen.Ruff@verizon.net.