Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The End of the Beginning:

This is not as ominous as it sounds. I take this from Sir Winston Churchill and his comments after Great Britain with stood the blitzkrieg "Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning". That is how I feel after a long day yesterday, attending county commissioner meetings in Stokes and Rockingham Counties, receiving funding to go forward with grant applications for stimulus funds. This was the end several months of efforts to map broadband in Stokes County and to create a workable plan to provide 3 Megs of broadband service to more than 95% of our citizens.

The plan, if we are able to find funds, will bring coverage to over 97% of our population and 96% of all the businesses in Stokes County. This is a major upgrade from the less than 80% figure that exist at this time. the plan calls for us to use a fiber ring that mostly exists today, tied to 16 towers (of which 14 are already in place). The details are very technical, so I leave it up to the engineers to work that out, my main issue is that it will work and whoever runs the system can create sufficient cash-flow to maintain it.

Much work remains to be done, creating the grant request, winning funding, signing a contract with a third party provider and building the network. All of these are challenges by themselves, however, we have at least made it by the end of the beginning and that is progress all by itself. Thanks to the Stokes County Commissioners, the Howell Group, the Stokes County Economic Development Board and Mark Wells and Jon Jones from Rockingham County for all their assistance with getting us to this point.

1 comment: