Donation Will Allow Program to Upgrade Lego Robotics Equipment

South Boston, VA – October 17, 2013 – Yesterday in the Lego robotics lab at Halifax County Middle School (HCMS), Tad Deriso, President and CEO of Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation (MBC) and Greg Lytz, VP of Finance and Administration for MBC, presented a $5,500 donation to the Halifax County Public Schools Education Foundation to help bolster the HCMS robotics program.

Coleman Speece, chairman, and Tay Bost, treasurer, of the Education Foundation, Regan Priest, HCMS robotics instructor, Dr. Merle Herndon, Superintendent of Halifax County Public Schools, and Faye Bruce, Principal of HCMS were there to accept the donation.  The funds will be used to replace old equipment, whose replacements parts are no longer in production, with new, more advanced Lego robotics equipment.

The sixth-grade students in Mr. Priest’s class were given the opportunity to demonstrate to MBC how the Lego robotics program works and show off their hard work in a mini-competition that was arranged for the occasion.  The students coached and cheered as Tad Deriso and Greg Lytz even got to go head-to-head, battling the robots that the sixth graders had built.

Robotics programs are becoming increasingly more important to companies, Tad Deriso noted, as these programs reflect that there are middle and high school students with high-tech knowledge that can be transformed into concrete high-tech work skills that meet the challenges of the 21st-century workplace.   This donation is one way that MBC supports workforce preparation in STEM education, which is a vital component of economic revitalization.  We hope that the excitement and enthusiasm shown today will lead to renewed interest in robotics at the high school level so that our students can continue to expand their knowledge in such a critical area.



Mid-Atlantic Broadband Completes NTIA/BTOP Middle Mile Fiber Project on Schedule and $1 million Under Budget

Advanced open-access fiber network now connects 100% of all K-12 schools in southern Virginia

South Boston, VA (October 14, 2013) – The Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation (MBC), a successful wholesale open-access network transport provider,  announced today the successful completion of the $20 million capital project to connect more than 120 K-12 schools in southern Virginia. The US Department of Commerce’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) awarded MBC a $16 million grant which was matched with a $4 million grant from the Virginia Tobacco Commission. MBC completed the project within the allotted timeframe and under budget, saving $1 million.

The successful completion of this project ensures that every school in southern Virginia now has access to an advanced fiber optic network, achieving the mission of delivering  robust, scalable bandwidth that can meet their needs now or 20 years from now. MBC’s open-access wholesale transport business model ensures that schools will always have competitive options for their choice of retail telecom service providers. This network can now support broadband connectivity from 10 Megabits to 10 Gigabits for every school in southern Virginia.

“This is a tremendous accomplishment for the entire MBC team,” said Tad Deriso, President & CEO of MBC.  “We take our fiduciary responsibility very seriously and while there were many challenges to overcome on this project, our team performed flawlessly. I would like to personally commend the MBC team members who were directly involved in this project including Gray Ramsey, Doug Herrin, Janet Rogers, Liz Smith, Fred Wilkinson, Billy Call, Don Kendrick, Chase Weddle and Chris Coleman. Their efforts will make a positive difference in the lives of more than 58,000 students every year with this advanced network infrastructure.”

“We commend the MBC team for their fiscal responsibility and effective management of this fiber optic network project,” said State Senator Frank Ruff (R-Clarksville). “We’re pleased that the Virginia Tobacco Commission matching fund investment could leverage this large grant to ensure our schools are connected to a robust fiber network and will pay dividends for our communities for many years to come.”

Congressman Robert Hurt (R-Virginia) stated, “I congratulate MBC for their efforts to address the complex challenge of  broadband access for our K-12 schools. This critical network infrastructure is a long-term asset that not only enables the private sector to expand their broadband services, but also assists our students in competing in the global, networked economy.”

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