Taylor walked the board through several potential fiber build-outs, from an $80 million scenario that encompassed the entirety of the county over 1,597 miles, to a $55 million build-out that excluded the most high-density areas — Timberlake, and the towns of Altavista and Brookneal.
One potential scenario involved building only 196 miles of fiber to create the “backbone” connecting all of the county service areas — from Naruna, to Red House Road, to Concord, through the outskirts of Lynchburg, to Wards Road and Lynch Station. This option, with a price tag of about $9.6 million, would pass about 1,500 homes, and require the county to build out further as it identified communities in need and secured the capital.
Rogers recognized countywide fiber is a “long-term goal,” and many more conversations will occur as staff and supervisors examine the plan. He said it’s great to have the report in hand, but the challenge is how to put it in action.
He told supervisors Tuesday he would continue the conversation with RiverStreet, figure out next steps and then schedule a follow-up work session.
The big question, he said, was, “How much do we want to put into this to move the needle, and how quickly?”
Also on Tuesday, supervisors heard from Warren Kane, CEO of Salem-based internet provider B2X Online, working to reach more than 2,000 homes in underserved and unserved areas of the county.