Broadband networks to expand to Accomack County

Thanks to a new partnership between Microsoft and Declaration Networks, the people of Accomack County soon will be able to pick up WiFi, even in the most wooded of areas.

Accomack already has broadband in certain towns and locations, but for rural portions of the county, the dense forest areas create a problem for connecting to WiFi.

Robie Marsh, executive director of the county's Chamber of Commerce, says the county is at a disadvantage currently, just as much of rural America is.

But thanks to a public-private effort, Microsoft and Declaration Networks are now announcing a three-year plan to modernize eastern shore Virginia's broadband, giving access to an estimated 65,000 people in the process.

"Through their technology, through the white space, they'll be able to actually penetrate through those trees and through those areas," says Marsh.

It's an exciting announcement, one that Marsh says could jump start local industries, especially the agriculture industry, which would use this technology for tractors and seed equipment.  This will allow local farmers to compete on a national scale.

Another group benefiting are the youth, who not only can receive better education but also be convinced into coming back or staying on the eastern shore.

"They'll not only be able to grow up with more access to learn, but then after they graduate, hopefully they'll be even more industry here they can come back to and work remotely, as well as work right here on the shore in competitive wage environments," said Marsh.

The broadband expansion isn't just limited to Accomack.  Northampton Counties, and Garrett County, Maryland will also be part of the expansion.

The project is expected to take about three years to complete.

Categories: Local News, Virginia