Broadband project a possibility

Published 9:56 am Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The Town of Drakes Branch will hold a public meeting during their regular town council meeting Feb. 4 to discuss the possibility of broadband in the town.

The meeting will be held at the Drakes Branch Municipal Building.

During the meeting, Jim Garrett from Kinex Telecom will be available to discuss fiber internet options for the Town.

According to the Town, at least 10 individuals must sign up in order to move forward with the initiative.

Information from Kinex said “fiber is a very expensive venture, so will need at least 10 signed contracts in a small concentrated area in order to begin engineering, permitting and then building the fiber. All contracts must be for at least three years and require a $150 install fee.”

In addition, information from Kinex said fiber which runs down the side of a road without installation can average roughly $40,000 in costs per mile.

Kinex said the costs raises significantly with small builds through neighborhoods and city streets.

The company said they are the only provider in the region who have two fiber crews continuously building super high speed internet in rural communities in Southside Virginia.

The communities include Charlotte, Farmville, Dinwiddie and more.

At a November meeting of the Charlotte County Board of Supervisors, Red House/Cullen Supervisor Nancy Carwile expressed concerns about the lack of broadband in rural areas of the County.

“I think that among this Board we all have a commitment to do something because it’s not going to pay for itself and when you don’t have it, it hurts our school children, it hurts our businesses, it hurts the property values of your land, it hurts all of those things … “ said Carwile.

At that time, Drakes Branch Supervisor Garland H. Hamlett, Jr. said he attended a Broadband Summit in Roanoke along with other members of the Board and County Administrator Daniel Witt.

He previously said private-public partnerships were a topic of discussion and other counties were working with electric co-op’s.

The Town is asking all interested citizens to participate in the Feb. 4 meeting.