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Residential Customers in the Roanoke Valley May Soon Get Broadband Access

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A recent study from the Pew Charitable Trusts shows that Virginia is doing well in some aspects when it comes to expanding broadband access – mainly through its use of state grants.

And expansion may soon be on the way for some people in the Roanoke Valley.

The Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority has traditionally focused on getting governments, schools and healthcare systems connected to broadband – but is now thinking of hooking up residential customers in the valley.

Frank Smith, the authority’s president and CEO, says it has already laid over 100 miles of fiber cable in the area – leading to new opportunities:

“The RVBA has been approached by several partners – some existing, some new – who want to come in and be able to use that core infrastructure and build out and start delivering fiber to the home,” Smith says.

The RVBA is currently seeking public feedback from residents in Roanoke and Botetourt Counties – in addition to the cities of Salem and Roanoke – on potential broadband service. Things like possible price points and download speeds.

Once the authority finishes gathering that input, it hopes to have a plan in place by the end of the year for potential next steps.

You can find the authority's public survey here.

Nick Gilmore is a meteorologist, news producer and reporter/anchor for RADIO IQ. Nick joined the newsroom in 2016 and forecasts the weather for most of the state. He also works to get RADIO IQ’s award-winning journalism ready for broadcast.