Virginia cities are building a 47-mile fiber optic network

Roanoke and Salem, Va., are building a 47-mile fiber optic network that will serve enterprises and government institutions. The first customers will be able to use the network by early 2016.

The Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority, which was founded in 2013 with the goal of deploying a fiber network for business and government use in the area, is heading up the effort, which is being funded by a $6.2 million bond issued by the authority. 

Utility Services Contractors will be paid $2.9 million to deploy the network. Thompson & Litton, an engineering firm from nearby Wise, Va., is handling engineering and project management.

Frank Smith, executive director of the Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority, told FierceInstaller that the fiber primarily will be buried, not aerial. There is already a large amount of fiber in Salem, so most of the fiber deployment is occurring in Roanoke.

Dura-Line FuturePath conduit will be used for the project. Each conduit holds 144 strands of fiber.

Smith said the goal of the project is to foster education and economic growth. He added that the network will provide open access, meaning that Internet service providers that want to be a retail provider will be welcome to use the network.

Smith believes that government facilities and schools are likely to take advantage of the network. .

FierceInstaller reported in July that another Virginia city, Charlottesville, is in the midst of a fiber deployment by Ting, a company that is better known for operating an MVNO.

For more:
- see this Roanoke Times article

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