Permit approved for broadband tower

Published 12:06 pm Monday, November 16, 2015

On Tuesday, the Charlotte County Planning Commission recommended the approval of Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation’s (MBC) application for a conditional use permit to the Board of Supervisors.

The Board of Supervisors approved the recommendation.

The recommendation came after a joint public hearing was held between the Charlotte County Planning Commission and the Charlotte County Board of Supervisors. 

The public hearing was held to hear public comment concerning the construction of a broadband tower on a property owned by Ridgeway Farms, LLC.

The property is located on Ridgeway Road in the Aspen area of Charlotte County. Monica Elder, county planner/purchasing agent, said the entire acreage of the property is 274.83 and the property is currently empty.

The size of the tower lot will be 625-square feet or 25 x 25, according to Elder.

MBC is working in conjunction with Microsoft to construct the 100-foot broadband tower.

According to Alfredo Echeverria, director of business development for MBC, a total of eight sites will eventually be built in the county.

The single carrier tower will provide educational content to students. “It’s one of the first of its network in the country using TV white space spectrum,” Echeverria said.

“This particular property will have a microwave link on the tower going to Phenix where we have fiber.”

According to Echeverria, students will be able to receive free educational content through the Microsoft portal. However, any browsing that should occur beyond the educational content will carry a small monthly fee, he said.

Citizens will have the opportunity to be provided with broadband services through this endeavor.

Currently, the type of coverage and speeds are still being considered, according to Echeverria.

MBC is hoping to break ground in the spring to begin the process of installing the first of eight broadband towers in Charlotte County.