Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority surveys demand to expand to homes

Online survey features questions on home internet needs, challenges and a speed test

ROANOKE, Va. – Is the Roanoke Valley ready for fiber optic internet service in homes? Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority wants you to take a survey to find out.

Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority has businesses, government, education and healthcare facilities on its fiber network, now it’s looking to expand to homes.

It’s asking people living in Roanoke, Salem, Botetourt County and Roanoke County to fill out the survey.

Questions are surrounding your home internet needs, challenges and even a speed test.

Results will give the broadband authority a better idea of where to start the process of bringing fiber to the home (FTTH) service.

“We’re going to take that information and put it into an actual plan that way we can make announcements in the next several weeks as far as what’s going to happen next, where it’s going to happen next so it’s really some exciting information," Frank Smith, President and CEO said.

Especially with people depending on their internet a lot more right now, whether it’s for work, school or telemedicine, Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority wants people to understand what this service would bring.

Smith said the difference between average internet service and the home service they want to bring is fiber optic technology. Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority uses a fiber optic line instead of a typical cable.

A typical cable may have a bunch of data going down it but not much date coming back up the cable which can cause problems like a stutter on a screen.

“What we’re going to do is we’re putting fiber in homes. That fiber is optic, fiber optics are glass that allows you to get more data down and more data back up at the same time so you don’t run into these issues,” said Smith.

For people using the internet, that also means internet speed would be faster. To learn more about the technology and benefits of fiber to the home, click here.

Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority put flyers about the survey in local electric and water bill mail.

To take the survey, click here. To do the internet speed test, click here.

The broadband authority has already received thousands of responses. The survey will be online for the next 45 days.

About the Author:

Megan Woods is thrilled to be back home and reporting at Local 4. She joined the team in September 2021. Before returning to Michigan, Megan reported at stations across the country including Northern Michigan, Southwest Louisiana and a sister station in Southwest Virginia.