Community Electric Cooperative’s efforts to help bring high-quality broadband service to its member-owners remain in place following a meeting last week in Richmond with officials from Charter Communications and several local jurisdictions, as well as state Delegate Emily Brewer. The meeting was held to seek better alignment among the parties on the administrative processes and deployment practices required to construct a broadband network in a timely and cost-effective manner.
“We had a positive meeting,” said Jonathan Thompson, CEC’s Chief Operations Officer. “We are determined and eager to create a safe and robust broadband network that will meet our members’ needs. We all have tremendous opportunities in cooperating together to find a way to make that happen.”
The initial broadband agreement was initially signed in 2003 with the most recent amendments occurring in 2018. While it was recognized that network construction would take several years to complete, the schedule originally in place has been affected, among other reasons, by challenges encountered with regard to keeping all parties safe as well as local jurisdictions and varying technological solutions needed to deliver services to the community.
“I felt a great deal of progress was made in achieving better alignment among all the parties involved,” said Brewer, who spearheaded the meeting. “I was pleased by the passion everyone displayed to meet this urgent need for the region, and by the candid and constructive manner in which the parties discussed ways to achieve efficiencies in the permitting and construction processes. This will keep stakeholders on track to deliver broadband to our communities.”
Officials from the City of Suffolk and Isle of Wight and Southampton counties also participated in the meeting