Roanoke City Council will have a public hearing tonight over a proposal that could help get affordable high speed broadband access to the city and surrounding areas.
Council will consider a proposal to bring Roanoke, Roanoke County, Salem and Botetourt County together to form the "Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority."
A task force has found the Roanoke region lags behind other communities in this aspect. City leaders say a broadband authority could potentially help lower the cost for the private sector installing infrastructure and developing new infrastructure. Members say it would also help unify policies across communities. "Increasingly we're seeing people are looking at broadband at their homes as a required infrastructure just like electricity and water and sewer and gas. More in the rural areas there are people on the fringes of the Roanoke Valley and are up into Botetourt County and portions of Roanoke County that don't even have existing wired connections, said Matt Miller, Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission.
The hearing is tonight at 7:00.