The Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority (RVBA) has implemented dark fiber connectivity to business accelerator Regional Acceleration and Mentoring Program (RAMP) in a build it says was on budget and ahead of schedule.
Being able to offer dark fiber services to collaborators like RAMP means that local startup businesses will be able to get access to higher speed data services to communicate with investors, partners and potential customers.
RAMP, a regional business accelerator, is a collaboration between Roanoke city, Virginia Western Community College and the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council. The program will help grow startup businesses by giving them free office space, mentors, business education and access to capital.
By providing dark fiber connectivity to RAMP, the Virginia Western Community College and other tenants can access the Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority’s fiber optic strand and conduit infrastructure while enabling end-users the flexibility to individually configure, procure and manage their own fiber lines and data transport services.
Customers have the option of leasing dark fiber with prices ranging from $21 to $100 a month. RVBA said the dark fiber rates depend on whether the customer is a commercial carrier or nonprofit, how long they plan to lease the fiber and how much of the nearly 50-mile network they want to use.
In April 2016, RVBA completed the buildout of 47 miles of fiber serving parts of Salem, Roanoke and Botetourt counties. On this network, RVBA will provide alternative gigabit speed services to area schools, government agencies and businesses.
The 47-mile network is just one part of a larger network build initiative. A previous proposal from Roanoke County called to spend an additional $3.4 million to build another 25 miles of fiber to extend broadband services to even more area customers.