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At long last, broadband services coming to Louisa

Posted on Thursday, March 14, 2019 at 5:00 am

The tower behind Moss-Nuckols Elementary School is installed in August 2018. After months of delays, SCS Broadband intends to start offering service from the tower this month.

The company offering internet service on the county’s wireless towers plans to start using the tower at Moss-Nuckols Elementary School in the next week.

That’s according to the Louisa County Broadband Authority’s consultant, Andrew Cohill, who sought to give the authority members something to cheer about at their March 6 meeting after months of delays.

“They expect to begin offering service in a week-and-a-half,” Cohill said.

SCS Broadband, which bought Louisa-based CVALink in 2016, is the county’s anchor tenant and will provide service from all of the authority’s towers.

“We’re extremely excited, especially given how long it’s taken,” Mary Johnson, broadband authority chair, said.

SCS anticipates serving about 100 homes in the Ferncliff area once it begins using the Moss-Nuckols tower, Clay Stewart, SCS chief operating officer, said. He declined to say how many clients receive service from the company now on older towers in the area.

“There were some homes we couldn’t get to before,” he said. “Not only that, but the service will be all enhanced. The path to the internet will be shorter.”

The company is advertising what it calls enhanced service starting at $40 per month. That price will give Louisa residents access to download speeds of up to 10 megabits per second. That’s considered the minimum speed for broadband service in Virginia.

Faster speeds will be available at higher monthly rates. Stewart said SCS will also offer service at $20 per month for families that have students who qualify for Louisa County Public Schools’ free lunch program.

Stewart estimated that signals from each of the new towers should be able to reach homes within a five-mile radius.

The March 6 meeting gave Cohill, who heads Wide Open Networks of Blacksburg, a chance to respond to broadband authority members’ criticism. The authority held a special meeting in February to consider canceling the consultant’s contract for poor performance, and discussed the situation with Cohill in closed session at the March meeting.

(Article by David Holtzman)

This is a partial article. Read the full story in The Central Virginian’s March 14, 2019 issue.

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