Prince George could become high-speed Internet provider - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Prince George could become high-speed Internet provider

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It's being called a broadband black hole – the eastern half of Prince George County remains unconnected to fiber-optic high speed Internet. But now, there's a vision in the works to bring things up to speed.

Prince George is weighing the possibility of becoming a high speed Internet provider, building a tower to beam wifi across the County.

"Even the rain slows down the Internet for some people here," said Jeffrey D. Stoke, Prince George director of economic development. "There are people who use satellite Internet providers, and when you have cloud cover, that gets in the way of the signal."

According to Stoke, broadband cable installation has not been profitable for private companies in the least populous parts of Prince George. The situation has left residents in more than half the County turning to dial-up, air card, or satellite Internet services.

"Just like water and sewer we provide, Internet is that substantial," Stoke said. "We're in the very beginning stages of looking into the option, but we're at the point where some people aren't able to work from home."

Private companies will be considered first to expand service. But if no acceptable offers are made, Prince George could step in.

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