Friday, September 22, 2023

Williamsburg City Council Approves New Broadband Option

Tax talks dominated the city council work session held Saturday morning in Williamsburg.
Williamsburg City Council Approves Franchise Agreement to Bring Fiber Network to the City. (WYDaily file photo)

WILLIAMSBURG — Williamsburg City Council voted unanimously during their monthly meeting to approve a negotiated cable franchise agreement with Shenandoah Cable Television LLC (Shentel).

Shentel will install a 100 percent fiber-optic network that will increase the internet speeds that data is allowed to travel. Currently, this type of broadband technology is not available within city limits.

Chris Kyle, vice president of Shentel, kicked off the discussion with a short presentation that addressed the type of service the company provides.

“Consumers want an alternative,” Kyle said, “We compete with Cox in Roanoke and they do a great job. The FCC and the department of justice have done a lot of research on this. What they found is when companies compete, consumers win.”

The franchise agreement with Shentel is for 10 years, with one five-year extension. Additionally, there will be no financial cost to the city.

“Offering competition for internet, television, and phone service are good for our residents and businesses,” Mayor Douglas Pons said. “High-speed internet has become a necessary utility. With more than one option, consumers should see lower costs for their broadband service in the near future.”

The project will begin construction in about nine months to a year, and the installation will continue for about two years. The infrastructure is built in a way that allows for future upgrades to multi-gigabit speeds.

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