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Board OKs broadband agreement

Members of the Lunenburg County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to sign an agreement allowing Kinex Telecom to move forward with installing broadband to the county Thursday.

The agreement does not commit the county to any money, nor involvement. County Attorney Frank Rennie said the project required an agreement from the county in order for Kinex to collect the grant payments and start implementation of the broadband.

Rennie said he reviewed the agreement, and he said it looked good.

Kinex recently received $439,068.84 in matching grant funds from the Tobacco Commission to build fiber to homes and businesses in Lunenburg County, spanning 41 miles, according to a past report.

“The money is a 50 percent matching grant between Kinex and the Tobacco Commission Research Committee, as part of an effort to bring broadband to unserved areas within the Commission’s footprint,” a release from Kinex cited.

Kinex had already planned and permitted a substantial fiber build in the Lunenburg area and had committed several hundred thousand dollars, but because the grant schedule was in the same time frame, Kinex decided to apply to the Commission through the Research & Development Committee Broadband grant.

“By matching Kinex’s funds, the commission would double the resources, thereby increasing the number of homes that could be reached, by at least 200,” the release cited. “The commission reviewed the project, its likelihood of success, its value to the community, and approved it overwhelmingly.”

The project will include 28 miles of middle mile fiber and 13 miles of last mile fiber, bringing the total build to 41 miles, according to the release.

Lunenburg County Administrator Tracy Gee said in a previous statement that the county appreciates the work of the Tobacco Commission and Kinex.

“The Board of Supervisors strongly supports upgrades to internet access for all of our residents of Lunenburg County and we are grateful for the support of the Tobacco Commission in that initiative,” Gee said. “The Board appreciates Kinex approaching Lunenburg Administration staff regarding this opportunity to start the important task of tackling our middle-mile and last-mile gaps in internet service.

“As you can see from the press release from Kinex, Lunenburg County will see the potential for up to 200 new users to gain access, plus better speeds for existing users,” Gee said. “Our hope is that private providers, like Kinex, will continue to partner with the County and the Tobacco Commission to increase broadband connectivity and availability, especially for the rural consumers in the last-mile.”

Kinex is utilizing the latest fiber Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) technology, which links all electronics at 1 Gigabits per second (Gbps). However, the fiber will support 10Gbps.