Louisa Hits Broadband Speed Bump

By. John Haksch, Louisa County Field Officer

Louisa County Board of Supervisors’ vision for providing ubiquitous broadband service for all county residents has progressed beyond speculation since the June 2nd approval of a study to determine how wide a coverage can be provided at what cost.

In June, the Board approved a 60-day, $3,750 study by CVA-Link, a local firm that provided the only serious bid on the study.  In approving the Study of Phase 1 Supervisor Fitzgerald Barnes (Patrick Henry) said, “This is a prime example of listening to our constituents – a step in the right direction.  A service our citizens ask for and there is no excuse we can’t provide it”.

The final results are not expected until well after the August 1st Board meeting, but preliminary numbers seem to indicate that the county would be looking at funding from between $7 million and $10.1 million dollars froclip_image002m the county’s reserve fund, which could be recouped by Louisa County within as little as five years according to a ‘best case’ financial model that assumes a seemingly optimistic 50% market penetration in the coverage area.

The difference between the high and low number is due to the actual number of towers that would have to be placed, constructed and equipped. Some residents may be left out in the cold if the lower figure wins the day.

County staffers do not see the cost as prohibitive and anticipate Board approval of at least the first construction phase, which is expected to provide service for the fortunate 50% of the residents of population centers who would be in its coverage area for a relatively inexpensive $1.5 to $3 million investment.

The second and third phases, which would cover the more rural areas could cost two to three times as much more, due to the physical distances and sheer area involved in covering the lower population density areas in the rest of the county.

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John Haksch is the Louisa County Field Officer for the Free Enterprise Forum a privately funded public policy organization.  If you find this report helpful, please consider supporting the Free Enterprise Forum.  To learn more visit www.freeenterpriseforum.org

Photo Courtesy of CVA-Link

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3 responses

  1. I really hope that this happens for Louisa. It is critical to its growth. I also hope that they focus on the southeastern portion of the county because of its greater growth prospects due to its proximity to Richmond. If they put these towers in parts of the county that already have DSL access, I’ll go crazy.

    I don’t understand why they don’t push Verizon to extend DSL in the county. I’ve heard the situation is so much better in Amelia because they don’t have Verizon. Why don’t they just say expand DSL in Louisa or we’re going with another telephone provider. Someone told me that the county supervisor can make those types of utilities decisions.

    I’ve been living in Louisa for three years, live 25 minutes from Short Pump, and can’t believe we don’t have broadband. It’s ridiculous in this day and age.

  2. I’m totally with you. I live less than 30 minutes from Short Pump as well, and do not have broadband service.

    The problem with Verizon is that they don’t care about their copper networks anymore. Wireless is where they see the money to be made at. Their selling off their copper networks to other telcos,and plan to win the customers back with wireless 5-10 years down the road.

    Expanding DSL is tough because of the distance requirements to local central offices in the field. The problem is the telephone infrastructure was installed long before DSL ever existed. So areas where DSL exists are spotty. And I don’t see Verizon ever wanting to do anything about it.

    I hope that Louisa pushes the broadband initiative through aggressively.

  3. I know this article is a couple of years old now, but it appears CVAlink is extending their service to some areas within south east portion of Louisa county. They are extending their networks to Rt 250/ 522 area as well to the Gum Spring, Apple Grove, Holyl Grove areas within the next 6 mos.

    I agree – it is crazy that I live 25-30 minutes from Short Pump but yet do not have reliable internet. I applaud CVAlink for stepping up and taking action on behalf of the residents of Louisa. There are definitely more people moving out to south eastern louisa and there is definitely money to be made here as well.

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