MBC Hosts Senator Mark Warner on His Southern Virginia Tour
Today, MBC was honored to host Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) on his four day tour through Southern Virginia. When MBC was formed in 2004, Senator Warner (then Governor) helped MBC negotiate a unique public-private partnership resource sharing agreement with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) that allowed MBC use of state owned Rights of Way in exchange for fiber along those routes. Senator Warner was briefed on the progress MBC has made in expanding open-access fiber networks in rural Virginia, and how the infrastructure is enabling private sector telecom providers to reach more markets and offer competitive services to our region. The MBC executive team also highlighted the on-going work with Microsoft, Facebook and Telefonica for their new subsea fiber optic cables landing in Virginia Beach next year. The subsea fiber cables will directly connect Virginia to Europe and South America and is a historic opportunity to expand global internet connectivity in Virginia as well as help attract more data centers, enterprise and other economic development projects to Virginia. MBC provided a comprehensive update on the “Homework Gap” Project, in partnership with Microsoft, which uses TV White Space technology to deliver no-cost wireless broadband services for educational content to families in the Halifax and Charlotte county school districts. MBC shared the recent broadband mapping results from RUOnlineVA, an initiative by Secretary of Technology Karen Jackson to identify the addresses of homes that have adequate broadband, that have less than adequate broadband, and that have no broadband. The map, which can be found at RUOnline.virginia.gov was telling as to the communities who still lack available broadband access. Senator Warner thanked the MBC team for their work in the region, and will continue to monitor the wireless project and share the success of that project with others.