Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority gains support in Salem - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority gains support in Salem

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SALEM -

A new broadband infrastructure in the Roanoke Valley gains support among local municipalities Monday night.

The Roanoke Valley Broadband authority project has been in the works for nearly two years now.

Last week, Roanoke City jumped on board. Monday night, it gained support in Salem, although they decided to table the vote until all four of the big players hold their public hearing.

The consensus on how those living in Salem feel about comcast is no secret. One by one they've voiced their opinions to city council.

But with it being too expensive for other providers to come to the area, comcast has been the only option.

Salem Mayor Randy Foley is looking to open the doors for other options.

"Right now there are essentially monopolies," Foley said.

But when it comes to Broadband Internet, the Roanoke Valley is taking action. Right now area leaders are voting on joining up in a project that would build the valleys first broadband infrastructure. That includes Roanoke City, Roanoke County Botetourt County and Salem.

In light of the proposal that could pull customers away in Salem, comcast representatives addressed the council with the improvements in service they've recently made.

Improvements Foley believes is due to possible competition.

"I would like to believe that some of that is the result of seeing this broadband authority coming into fruition," Foley said.

Mayor Foley says the new broadband authority has his vote.

It's a move that is quickly gaining support throughout the Roanoke Valley. Just last week city council in Roanoke City voted to give their full support for the project and much more.

Roanoke City council has committed one million dollars each year for the next two years to help get the project off the ground.

Roanoke City manager Chris Morrill says it will help bring Roanoke up to speed.

"Right now we are behind the other communities," Morrill said.

he says the valleys own broadband infrastructure is just the thing to get ahead.

"We think forming this authority, partnering with other providers, that we can increase both the availability of broadband, the speed and reduce the cost,"Morrill said.

A service that Roanoke and Salem leaders say will significantly boost the economy in the Roanoke Valley.

 

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