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Bryan David helps localities manage broadband

Since Bryan David joined the Region 2000 Economic Development Council as Executive Director in 2008, he has been on a mission to help localities pave the way for broadband technology to unserved or underserved areas in the region.

During this year, he has met with, presented to, answered questions, and guided several localities in taking steps to create their own Broadband Authority. According to Bryan, the presence of broadband—or high speed Internet—allows localities to be more competitive and "business friendly."

"This technology supports education, healthcare, business and entrepreneurial activities," Bryan explains. "I liken it to the age of electrification when localities provided electricity to citizens for the first time. It's a normal progression of technology advancement."

A Broadband Authority enables public/private partnerships to allow the private sector to take on its rightful role to develop, operate, and maintain a broadband network in an unserved area. As part of this model, the public sector is relied upon to remove any barriers for an Internet Service Provider to deliver the service. These barriers range from access to a county's public assets, water tanks, towers, and real property or rights of way that are necessary to the total build-out process. Additionally, an Authority can help to open up opportunities for federal grants that can provide up to 80 percent of the cost for capital equipment for such an endeavor.

"The whole purpose of an authority is to provide service to areas that are not already served," Bryan explained.

In April, Amherst County became the first to create a Broadband Authority in Region 2000. Bedford County followed in July and Appomattox County is currently holding a public hearing to adopt a resolution to create an authority. Campbell County is also doing its due diligence to explore the benefits of rural broadband through a master planning process.

"It's exciting to see the leadership of these localities recognizing that broadband is a transformational technology that makes our region’s residents and businesses more competitive in today's economy," Bryan said.

For more information about broadband in Region 2000, please contact Bryan David at 434-847-1447.