New Kent Charles City Chronicle

News for New Kent County and Charles City County, Virginia | July 21, 2018

Internet service finally gets airborne in Charles City after numerous delays

By Andre Jones | August 22, 2017 9:01 pm

That light you see at the end of the tunnel in Charles City probably isn’t coming from a train; it’s probably coming from the top of a tower that provides airborne Internet service.

After receiving a $600,000 grant and nearly three years of waiting that consisted of setbacks and frustrated citizens, connectivity for county citizens to the World Wide Web may be just around the horizon.

Charles City District 2 Supervisor and board chairman Bill Coada provided an update during Tuesday night’s regular board meeting.

“I know people have been asking about the internet and when we are going to have it, but I can say today that we have had our first tests in the air,” Coada said.

The $600,000 grant presented in 2014 focused on bringing high-speed Internet through fiber optics to the Roxbury Industrial Park. While businesses there has have success, citizens were promised access to the Internet shortly afterwards.

But that promise slowly turned to doubt as months became years, with deadlines and expectation dates coming and going. The frustration and delays resulted in a town hall meeting in Dec. 2016, with citizens able to ask questions to SCS Broadband representative Lon Welcher. Since that meeting, efforts to provide the service for citizens have been progressively moving forward. Finally, Coada delivered the news at the meeting, but also provided comments of some drawbacks.

“There are a few things that still going to have to be worked out,” the chairman said. “The first thing is the Roxbury tower. Because of the landfill, another tower will have to be put there in order to reach citizens.”

The current tower stands at 100 feet, but according to the chairman, a tower ranging from 300-500 feet may be installed to accommodate citizens.

“Speaking with representatives of SCS Broadband, it is expected that the first installations will began Aug. 31,” Coada continued. “Installations will be based on distance from the towers followed by signal strength.”

Overall, Coada remained steadfast talking about the availability of Internet in Charles City.

“I know that we are about a year and a half behind, but before we had this provider, we had zero options in Charles City,” he said. “Now, citizens will have an opportunity to have Internet in their homes.”