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A stronger connection

Posted on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 at 2:12 pm

Northumberland County’s Planning Commission got a great deal of information at its meeting in Heathsville on Thursday night, but its discussion of bringing broadband internet to the county was the most lively.

Several months ago the commission’s chairman, A.C. “Junior” Fisher, had asked the commission’s members to look into options for the county. What they found were on the agenda Thursday.

After the meeting, Fisher noted that the commission’s reason for existing is, in part, to plan for the county’s future and the availability of high speed internet, “… affects the county in every way. I don’t want to see us left out,” he said.

Commission member Patrick O’Brien submitted a “white paper” outlining the sorts of internet service available and the sorts that may become available. In it he noted that Northumberland has “inadequate internet service.” Several approaches may become available to address the problem, he observed. There may be public-private partnerships backed by the state, piggybacking on efforts by the Northern Neck Electric Cooperative’s facilities to reach out-of-the-way users, or piggybacking on the new 5G services being put in for emergency services’ use.

Although O’Brien thought highly of the possibilities of the 5G services, Lee Allain, a member of the audience said it would have too small a band-width to cure the problem.

For the full article, pick up the latest Northumberland Echo 8/21/19