Broadband

Fiber optic cable marker in Chatham. 

Pittsylvania County leaders have reached a formal agreement with the group that’s bringing high speed internet to the county. 

The Board of Supervisors has approved a deal with RiverStreet Networks. That’s the company that will bring fiber-to-the-home internet to every unserved home in the county.

A $39.5 grant from the Virginia Telecommunication Initiative is being added to $19.6 million from RiverStreet and $16.5 million from the county and the school system.  It’ll create a $75 million fiber-to-home network that will reach more than 12,000 unserved locations within three years. 

Most of the local money is coming from COVID recovery grants.  As part of a strategic plan adopted in 2019, the Board of Supervisors identified a goal of providing broadband to 90% of county residents by 2024.

RiverStreet Networks has already begun ordering fiber-optic cable and building the network. Founded in Wilkesboro, N.C. in 1951 as Wilkes Telephone Membership Corporation, started in 1951 as a residential telephone cooperative to serve rural Wilkes County, N.C.; RiverStreet has rebranded and expanded to offer the latest in technologies to areas outside of their traditional market.

RiverStreet had already set up a footprint in Virginia with their 2018 acquisitions of People’s Mutual Telephone Company (Gretna) and Gamewood Technology Group (Danville).  The People’s Mutual networks service area includes Gretna, Hurt, Renan and their Sandy Level exchange in Pittsylvania County. The Gamewood Technology Group coverage area covers the City of Danville and parts of Pittsylvania County as well as other parts of rural Virginia. 

The next step will be preliminary engineering.  A RiverStreet spokesperson earlier this year told the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors it was too early to announce a definitive start date for building the network.

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