Connecting broadband to residents in Botetourt County

BOTETOURT COUNTY, Va. – Botetourt County is working on better broadband coverage aiming to connect neighbors to the rest of the world with technology. About 70 percent of the community has internet access. The county sought help from the Rural Broadband Consulting for strategies in better connectivity. 

"We don't want to leave anybody out. And this data we are collecting now is showing that there are a significant number reporting of areas that aren't served," said Sandie Terry, president of Rural Broadband Consulting. 

She said the big hurdle to getting broadband in rural areas is the capital cost for infrastructure. Broadband is an economic driver for the local economy.

"Business must have it. Of course, you have to have hard wire fiber for business to supply information back to home campus," said Gary Larrowe, Botetourt County Administrator.

Improvement is also needed in residential areas. 

"There are a tremendous amount of people that have started up small businesses and work out of their homes. And so, it's no longer a utility for entertainment. It becomes (a) utility to support our economy," Terry said. 

The county wants people to tell their broadband story regarding their need for service. The information will help the build-out of broadband networks.