We're getting ready to identify our next neighborhoods for Gigabit fiber expansion. If you live in Blacksburg or Christiansburg, fill out the survey (the link is on the home page) and let us know. Tell your neighbors, too--we are looking for neighborhoods with a high interest in getting connected.
Our first two neighborhoods are now online with super-fast fiber connections. Residents are paying $69.95/month for a Gigabit fiber connection and a 1000 Meg down/1000 Meg up Internet service. We are now going to be looking for more neighborhoods in Blacksburg to bring the world's best Internet service. Follow the link on our home page to fill out the "I want fiber" interest form. We'll be bringing fiber to the neighborhoods with the highest response rate to our form, so tell your neighbors to fill out the form too. The next two neighborhoods will be launched in Late Summer of 2020.
If you live in Haymarket Square and would like to have faster, better Internet, fill out our survey (see the link on our home page) and let us know--we just added your neighborhood.
We are completing the final equipment configuration on the network in our first two Blacksburg area neighborhoods today, and expect to start connecting customers with super-fast Internet in the next couple of days.
What comes next?
We will be using data from our survey (have you filled it out to let us know you want Gig fiber?) to identify where to build next.
The picture below shows the first fiber to the home cabinet in the New River Valley.
One of the most common questions we get is, "Why do I want fiber?"
We've created a one page handout that may help answer that question. You can download it by clicking on the PDF icon.
Here is some of the reasons you want fiber:
- Work from home--full time, part time, or nights/weekends. We give you the freedom to choose!
- Run a business from home, or run a server from home.
- Connect more TVs, laptops, computers, tablets, printers, and servers and have them all work at the speed of light!
- Use all the bandwidth you want without worrying about slowdowns, overage charges, or data caps.
- Watch TV, movies, sports,and video at the highest possible quality--a better entertainment experience!
- Put home security cameras around your house and get notifications, live HD video, and sound right on your tablet or smartphone, wherever you are.
- Connect to the Virginia Tech network or your company VPN as if you were sitting in your office at work.
- Make full use of cloud services at blazing fast speed.
- Seamlessly connect multiple business locations and offices.
- Home-based employees can fully participate because videoconferencing works like it is supposed to with no stuttering, drop outs, or screen slowdowns.
- Get an inexpensive home phone line that actually provides a high quality connection without annoying drops.
- Fiber makes back up services like Carbonite, Amazon, and Mozy work the way they are supposed to with no waiting.
Click here to download a handout explaining the strengths of fiber.
Fiber adds resale value to your home. A $3500 investment in fiber can increase your property value by more than $6,000--a 180% return on your investment! Fiber is the best home improvement you can make, as it is the only type of improvement that adds more value than what you spent. Typical upgrades like a remodeled master bath, granite countertops, or a new deck will add less that you spent. Attached is a screen shot from a Render Associates nationwide study on fiber, and here is the link to the presentation with all the data.
Here is an interesting video that really gives an excellent view of what kind of technology is coming to homes and businesses.....and helps show why high performance fiber connections are going to be important.
Everyone is asking us about TV service. We need to pass at least 1,000 homes in Blacksburg with fiber before we think we will be able to offer a package of TV--which we absolutely want to do.
But we are also watching the death of cable TV and satellite services. A new report from Nielsen, the TV tracking firm, shows that 40% of American homes are streaming video over the Internet. This represents a 10% year to year increase. At that rate, there will be few subscribers left on cable and satellite in five more years.
But wait! There's more! The amount of TV being watched live, unsurprisingly, is also down, which makes sense. If you have a Netflix and Hulu subscription, why worry about watching something at a particular time?
What does it mean for Blacksburg? Fiber is going to be very important as more and more programming comes over the Internet. Fiber in a community is not just about economic development--it is also about quality of life, and young professionals want to live in a place with great connectivity, not old-fashioned copper networks. We want Blacksburg to have the world's best network---one that future-proofs your home and your neighborhood from obsolescence. Our fiber network, on the first day we connect your home, will have the capacity to handle HD video (5 meg per video stream), 4K video (10 Meg per video stream), and 8K video (25 Meg per video stream). It will also be able to handle any level of business class video conferencing that you might want to do from home--two way, three way, five way....need more participants? Our network can handle it. And if you want to connect to the Tech campus, it will be as if you are sitting in your office on campus...from home.
If you live in Oak Manor, Pilgrim's Point, or Mission Hills, we are working on a strategy to get fiber into those neighborhoods more quickly than in some other parts of town. If you would like a Gigabit fiber connection and live in one of those neighborhoods, fill out our survey and let us know.