Broadband service provides rural Pittsylvania Co. residents with internet access

A few of the towers providing Pittsylvania County residents with internet access (WSET)

PITTSYLVANIA Co., Va. (WSET) -- Rural areas can easily be left with the short end of the stick when it comes to broadband access. But, Pittsylvania County has a program that is closing the digital gap.

All you need is a small receiver.

"I was looking for areas that had broadband availability and this area had none," Michael Moore, one of the users of this new service, said.

Moore lives down a narrow dirt road in Pittsylvania County, where internet access is few and far between.

Pittsylvania County is working to help folks like Moore get high speed internet access through a partnership they formed last year with SCS Broadband.

"That was in 2017," Ashley Wolfe, Economic Development for Pittsylvania County, said. "And that was to lease county owned towers, E911 towers with the goal of providing affordable broadband service to the county."

Moore has been using the service for about 6 months.

"It was a bumpy start to begin with," he said. "They had to up their bandwidth because they didn't anticipate people getting on it all at once, but once they got that ironed out it's been working great for me."

Moore gets access through the White Oak Tower that's been operating since October.

That tower services about 100 households.

SCS Broadband plans to have 14 working towers throughout the entire county.

"They have a goal of covering more than 90 percent of the county," Wolfe said. "The next tower that will go live is the Mount Airy Tower. They're going to be working on the Callands tower next."

The price ranges depending on the package you get. Moore said he pays less than 40 dollars a month for internet, and it's more reliable than the wireless card he was using.

"Its helped me out quite a bit so it's a great service," Moore said. "I'm very grateful that the county has put enough thought and care into it because people who live out in these communities have gone without internet service for such a long time."

Broadband plans to have the next two towers up and running sometime this month.

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