Broadband construction to start 2020

Published 11:01 am Wednesday, September 18, 2019

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Charlotte County Board of Supervisors learned, during its Sept. 11 meeting, that construction on broadband internet for the county would start in 2020.

RiverStreet Networks representative Robert Taylor told supervisors that Charlotte County was the first on their list to provide internet as part of the Connect America Fund.

In July as part of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Connect America Fund Charlotte County was granted $6,359,724 for rural broadband in 2,567 locations.

The grant, awarded to RiverStreet Communications based in North Carolina, aims to expand rural broadband services and close the digital gap in rural areas throughout the nation.

RiverStreet Communications specializes in last-mile broadband service and installing broadband in rural areas with low population density.

“We are looking at Charlotte County being the first one on the schedule, and we’re talking about fiber right to the home,” said Taylor. “Our new base service line is a 100 by 100 megs, and it also includes a voice over IP telephone line.”

According to Taylor the 100 by 100 service from RiverStreet Networks would cost $75 and included unlimited data, a wireless router, and telephone service. “If you have an existing phone line you could port your number over to our web service and you would have unlimited local US and Canada calls with caller ID with a voicemail box.”

Taylor went on to tell super  has the 100 by 100 service and has more than enough speed to stream media. “This service will allow you to stream probably at least five or more high-definition movies simultaneously, so it’s more than enough speed,” he explained.

Taylor did not say specifically when in 2020 construction on broadband would start but did note, “Once we get started on that project, we would expect to have the first home connected probably within about 18 months.”

As for businesses, Taylor said that RiverStreet Networks offers other internet speed options including one for $100 that includes 250 by 250 megs but that most small to even mid-size businesses could operate successfully on the 100 by 100 megs.