Virginia’s Bedford County has been waiting for high speed internet. And continues to wait. As News Advance reports, the project has been delayed several times and is in danger of being delayed again. The Bedford County Board of Supervisors met this week to consider bumping the April 2020 deadline to August. The vote was unanimously tabled.
Blue Ridge Towers, based in Roanoke, Virginia, is under contract to construct twelve cell towers as part of the county’s broadband initiative. The suggestion has been floated to grant BRT an additional 96 business days to complete their piece of the project, but the vote was bumped forward to February’s meeting. Once the towers are in place, wireless service will be provided by subsidiary company BRISCNET LLC.
BRT requested the extension citing unforeseen delays. Bedford County Administrator, Robert Hiss explained BRT’s position, “These delays are the result of a little bit of everything.” He added, “It is not the fault of any one party and the county staff is recommending that the board grant this extension.”
The prolonged delay means that at least of half of Bedford County’s residents are still without internet service. It also means that Bedford County has yet to start collecting revenue. The county will become the owner of the towers and will start collecting rental fees of $10 per tower for the first year. Monthly fees will step up to $150, $250, and eventually $400. Before any of this happens, BRT needs to finish installing 21 miles of fiber-optic cable.
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