Open Broadband Set To Give Rural Rowan County A New Internet Option – Salisbury Post
SALISBURY – Residents of parts of Rowan County where internet connection is problematic will soon have a new option to go online.
Nick Steward, area manager for Open Broadband, said the company is preparing to bring service to the western and eastern parts of the county.
“By the end of this week or early next week, we will have customers installed with high speed internet in Rowan County,” Steward said.
Steward presented the update at the Rowan County Commissioners Council meeting on Monday evening. The board met for its last meeting scheduled for 2021 and addressed a number of agenda items, from funding requests for health programs to receiving the promising brief on progress. of Open Broadband in the county.
“This is good news,” said Chairman Greg Edds of the impending start-up of the business. âWe have been waiting for this for four years.
The opening of the Open Broadband store in Rowan County is the result of an effort by the county government to bring reliable internet connection to rural areas which have typically had to rely on cellular internet service, access switched or driving to the nearest store with Wi-Fi.
A task force led by Chief Information Officer and Deputy County Director Randy Cress formed in 2018 to study the problem and identify parts of the county where increased internet connectivity was sorely lacking. The task force, which includes community stakeholders, has determined that the areas most in need of broadband are in the northwest and southeast parts of the county, including stretches near the Township of Scotch Irish and the reservoir. of Tuckertown.
The task force also explored ways to encourage broadband expansion and decided to form a public-private partnership with Open Broadband. The county has chosen to distribute several hundred thousand dollars of coronavirus aid, relief and economic security law money to Open Broadband to spur expansion of the business.
Based in Waxhaw, Open Broadband provides service in parts of North Carolina, Virginia, and South Carolina. The company typically uses a method called fixed wireless to transmit radio signals through antennas from towers or other high places directly to homes. Fixed wireless is designed to be a cost effective way to deliver the Internet over a larger, more rural area, as opposed to installing fiber optic cables in the ground.
Open Broadband has been installing fixed wireless infrastructure in Rowan County since last year, but progress has been hampered by supply chain issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Steward said the company also had to wait for Duke Energy to grant it permission to install the electricity.
Steward said several hundred potential Rowan County customers have added to a waitlist for services on the company’s website, giving Open Broadband a “good indication” of where he will serve the people. These customers, he said, should expect to receive an email or other form of contact notifying them of Open Broadband’s launch.
Rowan County customers, Steward said, will be able to choose from one of three plans, which range from $ 49.99 per month to $ 84.99 per month, depending on the amount of megabits per second. Steward said there is also an installation fee of $ 150 which covers the cost of the equipment and labor required to install it into a residence.
Cress said the county will have fewer “unserved” areas after Open Broadband begins operations, meaning residents who previously had no broadband internet options will now have access to at least one.
You can find more information about Open Broadband services in Rowan County online at openbb.net/rowanco or by calling 980-246-8989.