Discussions being held on possibly expanding K&Q broadband regionally

Bill Nachman - Posted on Jul 24, 2013 - 01:07 PM

Discussions are in the works on a suggestion that nearby counties tie into King and Queen County’s existing broadband internet service.

Beth Johnson, finance director for the Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission, said that King and Queen County hosted a meeting July 18 to which government officials from the region were invited. No cost estimates were provided, Johnson said.

However, Gamewood, an internet provider with offices in Danville and Walkerton, asked interested counties to furnish lists of their existing communications towers in order for the company to work up cost estimates.

Johnson said that no timeframe was set for the start of a regional project, but she was glad to see a regional broadband plan at least in the talking stages once again.

Scott Varner, director of information technology for Gloucester, said a representative from his office could not attend the meeting because Gloucester is heavily involved in setting up a new telephone system for county government offices. He said Gloucester is definitely interested in learning more about the benefits of a regional broadband plan.

Mathews County Administrator Mindy Moran said a county representative was en route to the meeting but was detained because of construction along Route 198.

"We are very interested in this," Moran said, since broadband internet service is seen as "a crucial infrastructure" for Mathews, which could aid businesses and residences.

Although specifics are not in place, Moran said she doesn’t believe local waters would be a hindrance to broadband, but "pine trees are."