Georgetown Eyeing Fiber Ring - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Georgetown Eyeing Fiber Ring

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GEORGETOWN, Del. - It was just about a month ago that WBOC reported on a brand new high-speed fiber ring on it's way to southern Delaware. Now the town of Georgetown is eying this service for themselves.

At their regularly scheduled council meeting Wednesday, the Georgetown Council was joined by representatives from the Virginia-based company Broad Valley. The company said that the initial construction project would link four county buildings in one ring, which circles much of the downtown area.

Ken Savell, the CTO for Broad Valley said that they hope businesses and residents will pay to tap into the service. The company would pay for the installation, making their money back through charging for service.

"The ring will serve as the key backbone for both business and residential service offerings," Savell said.

Savell said that their end goal is to "bridge the digital divide" between upstate Delaware and Sussex County.

"It is our goal to develop a future-proof fiber network," he said. "Enabling affordable broadband services equal to those enjoyed in the major Metropolitan regions of the Mid-Atlantic."

Mayor Bill West said that the key factor will be cost.

"They need to make it cost effective for it to work," he said. "And with only the county hooked up to it, it's not going to be a win-win situation for them. So they're going to have to make it affordable."

At the Brick Hotel, Manager Kelly Sharp said that they have had conversations with Broad Valley. She said she would be interested in tapping in, if an affordable option was available.

"It would certainly improve our connection time," she said. "And our reliability of connection. Which is huge."

Savell said that pricing is not set out yet, but that it would be similar to what a competing company "Google Fiber" is doing in markets like Kansas City. Online listings for this service showed that a residential home would pay approximately $70 per month. As for small businesses, they could be expected to pay approximately $100 per month.

The county signed a five year contract in March, at a cost of $8,500 per month, once the ring is completed. Construction is expected to begin in 12 to 16 weeks. The installation process is expected to be completed by November, 2015.

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