Broadband Comes to Bedford County

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Legislators in Virginia have reached an agreement that will allow Bedford County and Blue Ridge Towers to bring internet access to rural residents, reports NewsAdvance.com. An estimated $3.5 billion was allotted for the project, which will include a total of 12 new towers.

The original proposal planned for 11 towers, but further discussions resulted in the recommendation for one more tower. 

“This is going to provide better coverage around the Body Camp and Huddleston areas,” District 2 Supervisor Edgar Tuck said. “It was worth a little delay to get another tower out of the deal.”  

Bedford County covers 764 miles, at least half of which is without internet service.  A study conducted by the Atlantic Group in 2017, devised the plan that has now been adopted. Blue Ridge Towers was selected to construct the necessary towers. Its subsidiary Briscnet LLC will be the wireless service provider.

The overview of the plan involves ten brand new towers, along with major upgrades and modification of two existing towers. Blue Ridge Towers will install and maintain approximately 21 miles of fiber-optic cable. Blue Ridge Towers will then lease the towers from Bedford County for five years at a rate of $10 per tower, per month, for the first year. The rate will increase in increments of $100, $150, $250 and $400 per month by the time the fifth year is reached.

“We expect to have construction started by May at the latest and we can roll on from there,” said Blue Ridge Towers president Anthony Smith. “We are ready to get this up and running and our company and Bedford County are going to make a great team.”

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March 12, 2019

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