Municipal Broadband

Fiber

Contact Us

  1. Matt Reynal

    Assistant Town Manager
    Phone: (804) 798-9219
  2. Staff Directory

Master Plan

In 2018, the Town of Ashland constructed approximately two miles of fiber optic cable as the first phase of a municipal broadband network to support economic development and competition in the private sector telecommunications market. The Town operates its system as an open access, dark fiber network, which means the Town does not sell services directly to business and residential customers. 
  • August 2018: Town Council appointed the Municipal Broadband Committee and charged it to advise Council and Town staff on developing the Town's network and educating the public.
  • September 2018: Construction of Phase 1
  • March 2019: Town Council adopted the Municipal Broadband Master Plan
TOA Fiber Route Phase 1v2

Services

The companies listed below currently lease fiber from the Town to offer telecommunications services within the existing coverage area. The Town does not guarantee the availability of service, service offerings or reliability of service provided by these providers. Please contact the service providers directly for more information.
  • Lumos Networks dba Segra

The 5 Ws and How

What are We Doing?

• Building a municipally owned dark fiber network

Why are We Doing It?

• Economic Development – our businesses and residents have requested alternatives for the incumbent providers.

When are We Doing It?

• Over the next twenty plus years starting with a focus on the business areas in Town.

How are We Doing It?

• In partnership with a firm that has expertise assisting local governments to plan for and execute dark fiber networks.

How are We Paying for It?

• We do Pay-As-You-Go funding through our capital projects fund. We will also explore grant funding where available.

What’s the Benefit?

• The internet is now a utility. The types of businesses Ashland’s residents want in Town have to be connected. The bonus is not only do our residents want these businesses, but they typically offer convenient, high paying jobs, and are also typically high tax revenue generators. This is the type of investment that spurs economic growth and opportunity. The goal is also better service at a lower cost.

What’s the speed?

• Commercially available equipment can handle up to 40 Gbps but most fiber ISPs sell up to 10 Gbps per fiber. If a customer wants more than 10 Gbps then they often lease more than one fiber. Equipment currently being tested in labs exceeds 40 Gbps but it is not ready for the market yet. This compares to speeds of 10-100 Mbps currently offered by the incumbent providers in Ashland (100x faster).


Municipal Broadband Committee

Mission: “To advise Town Council and staff in the development of a municipal broadband network through public advocacy and education.”

Objectives:

  1. Represent the residential and commercial interests of the community during the development of a Town-wide broadband network.
  2. Provide outreach and public awareness.
  3. Regularly review and refine the Municipal Broadband Master Plan based on market forces and community needs.
  4. Support the development of infrastructure for adequate internet service to all commercial properties.
  5. Encourage competitiveness in the internet service provider market.

Members:

Councilmember Daniel McGraw

Mr. Bill Brothers

Mr. Bill Copeland

Mr. Matthew Reynal (staff liaison) mreynal@ashlandva.gov