Local business helps keep Louisa connected

Posted on Friday, May 17, 2013 at 6:13 pm

A locally based Internet provider is staying abreast of cutting-edge technology in an effort to help Louisa County residents and business owners  get connected to the rest of the world by Internet.

CVALINK, established by Brian Gilbreth in 2001, is on the brink of testing new technology which could bring the Internet into households all over the county and in the region.

The Louisa County Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting for CVALINK on Monday to celebrate the company’s new location on Davis Highway near the town of Louisa and hear what’s in store in the near future.

When the company first started, Gilbreth said, CVALINK offered dial-up and hosting services.

Gilbreth launched the business when he saw a need for more reliable Internet service in the county.  He said that students were being sent home with homework that required Internet access to complete, but many households didn’t have the technology.

But seeing that trends in Internet usage were beginning to change, the company began offering high speed Internet wireless from its first location off the town of Louisa’s water tower  using one T1 connection that could handle 1.5 Megabytes per second.

The service territory was soon expanded to the Mineral area using the former Voice of America tower on Chopping Rd. Two of the first customers as a result of that expansion were Lake Region Repair and Tractor Hill Equipment, both of which remain customers today, according to Gilbreth.

The company then expanded service to the northwestern side of Lake Anna using farm silos on the Harris family farm, and introduced CVALINK’s third generation equipment of high speed service.

To grow into other areas of Louisa County, the business needed tower infrastructure and a faster connection.

“We were up to several T1 connections, so we brought in a fiber optic connection that connects directly to the main national Internet backbone in Ashburn,” Gilbreth said.  “We also wanted to get our service to the west side of Louisa County, so we helped get two towers approved for cellular use in Trevilians and Zion Crosssroad and located our antennas on those towers.”

At the same time, Gilbreth said that his business began offering cellular services through Verizon Wireless. Gilbreth rented a location on Fredericksburg Avenue in the town of Louisa to establish a cellular retail facility.

However, as of last year, CVALINK is no longer involved in Verizon Wireless retail sales and is instead focused on making a push to expand its own broadband network.

“We turned on two new service areas:  the first near Christopher Run Campground and the second near North Anna Power Station just off Johnson Road,” Gilbreth said.  “We are in the process of constructing service in the Ferncliff and Cuckoo/Pendleton area and will be ready soon for customers.”

Even more exciting for CVALINK is the fact that the company is working to bring a  newly developed technology called TV White Space to Louisa.

“We plan to be one of the first wireless service providers to make this type of service available to Louisa and surrounding counties,” Gilbreth said.

Read The Central Virginian’s May 16, 2012 edition for the rest of the story.

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