Hanover high-speed internet could hit snag

By Ben Garbarek - bio | email

HANOVER, VA (WWBT) - We often take for granted having access to the Internet, but some people in rural parts of Hanover County have no Internet service at all. The county is now looking at providing high speed Internet in these areas, but a tight budget might get in the way.

Many of us use the Internet for shopping, banking or keeping up with the news and some rural residents want to be able to do the same. People in these areas are frustrated and say having reliable high speed Internet is a necessity.

Patience is a virtue Internet users like Lillian Robinson have had to learn the hard way.

"It's usually slower than that so today is a good day," she said.

She works in rural western Hanover County where there is no high speed Internet and only a satellite dish can get her online.

"On bad days it usually goes out and you got to wait until it comes back up," Robinson said.  "We do a lot of unplugging, replugging, resetting to get our Internet."

The Board of Supervisors will decide tomorrow whether to go through with a feasibility study to see how many people might sign up for high-speed Internet through the county, and how much providing it would cost.

Most local leaders seem to agree, providing high speed Internet to rural areas is a good idea, but it all comes down to that almighty dollar.

Ed Via is the chairman of the Board of Supervisors. He says this is something that needs to be done, but the money might not be there to do it right now.

"The biggest problem with it is the cost," he said. "It's something that, in this economy that we're in, the county really can't afford and make high speed Internet available for everybody."

Vickie Mills lives in Montpelier and has trouble getting online too. She says having high speed Internet isn't a luxury anymore.

"You do need the convenience no matter where you're at," Mills said. "If you live in the city or a rural area, you still need certain aspects of the Internet nowadays."

Many Internet companies do not provide service to these areas because there are not enough customers there to make it worth their while. The board will likely decide tomorrow night whether to continue looking into this.

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