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Monday, February 23, 2004
Virginia: Pulaski County officials trying to catch up with other areas' broadband availability
February 19: "Educators, planners and economic developers want government leaders in Pulaski County to invest in broadband Internet fiber to keep the county competitive. 'It's about becoming more competitive in the marketplace,' said Ted Settle, Virginia Tech's economic initiatives and marketing research director. He said broadband access is becoming as important to businesses as basic utilities like water and electricity."
"'There are a lot of things going on. Competition is tough,' said Carl Epley, a retired University of Virginia and Virginia Tech engineering instructor who heads the county's telecommunications committee. 'If we're going to stanch the loss of jobs and the loss of revenue, we're going to have to change what we're doing.' The committee invited elected leaders from the county and towns of Pulaski and Dublin to a meeting on telecommunications Tuesday night."
"New River Community College has linked its T-1 lines to Pulaski County High School, about six miles from where the telecommunications meeting was being held at the Pulaski County Public Library. It would cost about $10,000 a mile to bring broadband fiber from the high school to downtown Pulaski, he said. But the school system is paying $8,952 per month for the rest of the insufficient Internet data lines it uses now, Sandidge said. 'If somehow we had fiber, you can see what it would do to the budget," he said. "I'm going to get a payback pretty quickly. This is not rocket science.'"