Kinex broadband project moves forward in Lunenburg County

Published 2:33 am Friday, April 28, 2023

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Even though it’s still a long road ahead, the Kinex broadband project is moving right along in Lunenburg County. 

The Kinex project is working to bring broadband to Lunenburg, Cumberland and Prince Edward counties over the course of three years. According to Kinex president Jim Garrett, the project officially began in July 2022 with contractors finally in place by October 2022. 

Currently, crews are working in the northern part of Lunenburg County, laying wire and completing installs for new broadband customers. Lunenburg has almost 50 miles of fiber in the center and north portion of the county and is expected to have about 125 miles finished by the fall.

Work is already finished in Prince Edward County, where the company laid 140 miles of fiber, completing its 200th mile of buried fiber overall. Work will start on the third target, Cumberland County, in the fall, running fiber down the eastern portion of the county and down into Farmville and further south.

“Our plan is based on passings because the federal side requires us to pass so many unserved homes each year, while we do our best to try and serve the whole area right now we cannot run more than six or so crews because the locators cannot keep up,” said Garrett.

Process takes longer for Kinex broadband

This process is taking longer due to Kinex choosing to bury the cables underground. Garrett noted that aerial projects are easier due to the cables not being in the ground but burying helps protect the cables from storms and harsh weather conditions.

One of the issues right now slowing down the process is waiting for Brightspeed and Verizon’s locating companies to mark ahead of the construction. These companies hire locators to go before Kinex and mark where their cables are already buried so that Kinex does not accidentally damage them. The locators have gotten behind due to the same issue plaguing many businesses today, lack of employees. Unfortunately, the Kinex crews cannot move ahead until these areas are marked causing may crews to sit and wait. 

“It is an ongoing issue and is causing us to slow our efforts, but it is being experienced in many areas of the state as companies suffer from the lack of a good labor pool,” said Garrett. 

Kinex is burying this cable on the side of the road in the Virginia VDOT right of way that can be as far as 15 feet from the road. Garrett wants to assure folks that Kinex is permitted by VDOT to place fiber in these spaces and is not operating on land that some may believe is part of their yard. 

“We want to be good citizens and leave the area clean and in the best shape possible before we leave any area, but sometimes a worker may miss something, so please feel free to contact our office if something needs attention,” he said.

Garrett asks for folks to be patient as this large project is underway. Kinex is working diligently within the parameters it has been given and will continue to do so in this three year process.