PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY, Va. – By 2024, 90% of people living in Pittsylvania County will have internet access.
That’s the big goal the county’s board of supervisors set a few years ago, and now a partnership with a North Carolina internet provider may just help achieve that.
Some people travel 30 minutes from Gretna to Danville just to get internet access, but a new project could put an end to that.
With five towers already in the county, River Street Networks is installing 13 new towers in the northeast area of the county to provide service to about 9,000 businesses and homes. However, some residents rather have a hard-wired connection.
“If River Street was to build a wired network right now to every resident that would take years and years and tens and tens of millions of dollars,” Pittsylvania County Public Relations Manager Caleb Ayers said.
Starting next year, the new provider will also extend its fiber-optic network to offer signals to 20,000 businesses and homes.
Kelly Owen, a resident from Blaire, said her husband had to beg Xfinity to extend their service just a few more feet to include their household.
A relief for her family but Owens said many of her friends cannot say the same.
“I have a lot of friends who have remote learners at home and are working from home, and they’ve had to bend over backward to try to find the plans that they can afford, plans that are even available depending how far out they are in the county,” she said.
With more people learning and working from home, Owens said they had to boost internet speed, but that comes with a high price tag.
Owens said they now pay an extra $20 to $30 dollars a month.
“I could see where a lot of families would have a hard time for people to pay $100 just for internet access,” she said.
By the end of next year, the new towers will be installed.