Dead Zones

About 10% of Virginia has broadband “Dead Zones” without service.  To the Broadband Advisory Council, that’s significant—since in order to be competitive in business and development, communities need to quickly access the worldwide web.  But Deputy Secretary of Technology Karen Jackson says that creates a “Catch 22” situation because a community can only attract an Internet provider when there’s a decent return on often risky investments:

“There are community models that the community can bind together, aggregate demand, count the number of people who want service and actually build a business case and then market it back to the providers, trade off tower space, trade off high structures for wireless. There’s a lot of creative solutions that have been applied in some areas such as Franklin County, and can be applied without requiring a whole lot of cash to be spent anyway,” says Jackson.

Jackson says Virginia would like to assist communities more, but there’s not much discretionary money.  She adds that the state does not want to get into the business of providing Internet service since states that have, lost money.

–Tommie McNeil

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