Broadband Authority Fighting to Provide High-Speed Internet to More Parts of Orange Co.
ORANGE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - The Orange County Broadband Authority (OCBA) is dealing with speed bumps on the road to high-speed internet for all. The organization wants a state grant to make it happen, but a pair of service providers could stand in the way.
The fight right now is about providing access to people living in the Barboursville and Locust Grove areas.
Earlier this year, OCBA applied for two grants to provide fiber lines to 600 people in Barboursville, and 900 in the eastern portion of Orange County. The projects total about $3.5 million, but both Comcast and Virginia Broadband are challenging the grant saying they provide service to those areas.
"Fiber lines are very important in Orange County, because we have a lot of foliage and the wireless connectivity cannot penetrate the foliage," OCBA Program Manager Lewis Foster explained.
Foster added that satellite and wireless service providers have issues providing internet to parts of the county, which amplifies the need.
The Orange County Broadband Authority has responded to the challenge, and now it's up to a state panel to decide if the project can move forward. That decision is expected in about a week or two.