RVBA Delivers Dark Fiber to RAMP on Budget and Ahead of Schedule

Posted on: May 01, 2017

The Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority has delivered dark fiber optic broadband connectivity to the Regional Acceleration and Mentoring Program (RAMP) on budget and ahead of schedule.

RAMP, a regional business accelerator, is a collaboration between Roanoke city, Virginia Western Community College, and the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council. The program will help start-up businesses grow by giving them free office space, mentors, business education and access to capital.

RAMP’s dark fiber connectivity now enables Virginia Western Community College and other tenants to access the Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority’s world class fiber optic strand and conduit infrastructure while enabling end-users the flexibility to individually configure, procure, and manage their own fiber lines and data transport services.

“Dark Fiber is advantageous to growing businesses that wish to secure and invest up-front in future bandwidth capacity. As we remain committed to the economic development and technological growth of the Roanoke Valley, this partnership with RAMP makes perfect sense. We share a core commitment to maximizing the future growth potential and technological infrastructure of our region.” RVBA President and CEO Frank Smith said.

The Roanoke Broadband Authority currently serves the Roanoke Valley and selected surrounding areas and was awarded a Governor’s Technology Award for Cross-Boundary Collaboration in the fall of 2016.

“Virginia Western has collaborated with the Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority to provision fiber connectivity between its main campus and the two downtown Roanoke sites at the Claude Moore Education Center and the new entrepreneur training facilities inside the RAMP building,” said Shivaji Samanta, Director of Information and Educational Technologies at Virginia Western. “The project, delivered on time and within budget, provides VWCC with dedicated connectivity to its off-campus locations at speeds limited only by the equipment at the end-points for a fixed monthly cost.”

Virginia Western Community College will begin offering courses at RAMP in the old Gill Memorial Hospital Building on Jefferson Street downtown next month.

About RVBA

In 2011, at the urging of several concerned citizens and local business owners, four regional municipalities (The City of Salem, The City of Roanoke, Roanoke County and The County of Botetourt) four municipalities acted to form the Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority (RVBA). The goal was to expand the regional broadband infrastructure and make it easier for both new and existing providers to deploy their technology across the Roanoke Valley. The RVBA was tasked with driving measurable improvements to fiber-optic Internet accessibility, affordability, reliability, and Internet speeds for the purposes of advancing the long-term economic prospects of the region.

After a nine-month build out, in April of 2016, the new regional, carrier-grade, open-access network was launched with great public fanfare. In September of 2016, the RVBA was promptly recognized with the Virginia Governor's Award for Technology and called out as a shining example of cross-boundary collaboration.

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Jennifer Eddy
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