ROANOKE (WSLS10) -After nearly four years of working to make broadband a reality in the Roanoke Valley the broadband authority is now only months away.
The Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority has now begun to lay it's 47-mile fiber optic system throughout the area which will provide service to Roanoke City, Roanoke County, Salem and Botetourt County.
The authority has set it's proposed rates for the service that will target large, major customers such as health care organizations, schools, government bodies, and internet carrier services.
The service offering rate structure is broken down into three categories to address various needs from large businesses as well as nonprofits and commercial customers.
These services include:
- Dark Fiber for commercial carriers and Dark Fiber for non-profits which range from $40-$100 per strand mile per month
- Transport services for customers who would rely on the broadband authority to turn on the fibers to their businesses. Speeds range from 10 megabits per second to 200 gigabit per second. Price ranges between $350- $4510 per month which would be a recurring charge for a two year term.
- Internet capability ranging from 10 megabits per second to 1 gigabit per second which price from $550 - $5687 per month on a recurring charge for a 2 year term.
For more information on pricing click here.
Executive Director Frank Smith says this type of service will be especially beneficial to organizations that require sending and receiving of large volumes of data.
CarilionClinic is one of those organizations Smith says could benefit, especially through tele-health communications that would allow doctors and patients to communicate via computer or device instead of in person.
He says they have already received three inquiries about services.
Mostly I hope we will c
ooperate to make the place even more attractive to the customers, businesses and government education institutes that are here but also to attract(more businesses to the area), Smith said. "One of the things is that I've already been approached by three other companies out of the area who want to get on to the network to offer services. And I have other businesses in the area who are interested in providing service.
Under the agreement, Smith says he cannot release who those companies are, but says the immediate interest is encouraging.
Construction of the five major centers throughout the area is expected to be complete by early march. Customers can expect service in mid- April.
The Authority will hold a public hearing on Friday, March 18 at 8:30 a.m. to discuss rates. After the public hearing, the board will request to adopt the preliminary proposed rates.