On June 11, 2015, a broadband summit was held by the Region 2000 Alliance’s Technology Council to discuss broadband access and technology in Virginia’s Region 2000. Broadband is a big issue in the area, as it affects businesses, schools, and residents. Offering better access to broadband technology doesn’t just mean faster internet. It also means building safer communities, more competitive cities, and new economic advantages.
Addressing Broadband Issues
According to the 2015 broadband summit, Region 2000 – which includes Lynchburg, Virginia and surrounding areas – needs to address dead zones and replace older technology (like DSL) with broadband access. Introducing broadband to the area will mean budgeting, considering infrastructure and materials, including towers and cable, and launching public awareness and education campaigns.
Broadband in Lynchburg
According to the 2015 broadband summit, only about 9.2% of Lynchburg, Virginia is covered by Fiber Optic technology right now, although 100% of the area is covered by 4G wireless technology.
Broadband is an important part of the equation for success in the community and beyond because it can get internet access into more homes. Children without internet access at home can find it harder to keep up with their schoolwork. Businesses need broadband to open for business in a cost-effective way. Broadband also has the potential to encourage telecommuting, which is great for business and provides new job opportunities. For seniors and those with lower incomes, internet access can provide them with access to electronic resources and contact information for local and community-based programs to help them.
The 2015 broadband summit had a number of ideas for bringing broadband to Region 2000. Among them were more aggressive applications for funding. In the past, projects to increase broadband access have not launched due to funding issues. The plan also looks at using the technology and sites already in place to build more towers and other technological infrastructure.
By reducing redundancy, it is possible to make the project more affordable. Getting the community involved is an important piece in tackling these connectivity issues. Region 2000 needs to understand what its citizens want, and help educate residents about broadband so that it’s used effectively once it’s made available.
We’ve come a long way over the past century. As we continue to innovate and develop our city’s infrastructure, it’s nice to remember where we came from. Take a peek into the past in our History of Business guide: