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The city of Danville received national attention last week at a broadband summit for its work in launching a public “open access” fiber optic broadband network for use by businesses to deliver broadband services to customers.
Organizers of the 2012 Broadband Communities Summit, which was held in Dallas, held up Danville as a case study in how a small city can use telecommunications to help recruit and expand businesses.
City Manager Joe King served as a presenter at the summit. He talked about how Danville has made significant use of nDanville, its open-access fiber optic broadband network, to attract high-tech industries.
“We had an outstanding line-up of speakers and activities at this year’s summit and we were delighted to have Mr. King included on the program”, states Scott DeGarmo, president and CEO of Broadband Communities.
In contrast to cities that compete directly with cable and telephone companies by offering internet, television, and telephone services, the nDanville network provides a high speed broadband highway over which private business can travel and sell services. Danville connects local businesses to northern and eastern Virginia, the North Carolina Research Triangle, and points beyond over the Mid-Atlantic Broadband Cooperative’s regional fiber network.
nDanville currently serves all of Danville’s municipal and utility facilities, 27 schools, 93 businesses and 18 residences located in small apartment buildings. The city is now initiating nDanville’s first phase of fiber deployment to 344 homes in central Danville.
nDanville is completely self-sufficient financially, operating on fees charged to its customers and service providers. It is being expanded on a pay-as-you-go basis and carries no debt.
As a result of its work, the city of Danville has been named for three consecutive years as one of the top 21 places in the world in integrating technology into the community. Known as the Smart21, the list is compiled by the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF), a New York-based think tank that studies the economic and social development of the 21st Century community.
The 2012 Broadband Communities Summit focused on fiber-to-the-home and next-generation access technologies for buildings, communities and municipalities and attracted nearly 1,000 participants. Included were broadband system operators, network builders and deployers of all kinds, major property owners and real estate developers, independent telecommunication and cable companies, municipal and state officials, community leaders, and economic development professionals.