Danville, Virginia's investment in fiber is paying off

Back in 2006, with the help of Design Nine, the City of Danville made the decision to open their city-owned fiber for commercial use. The first customers were connected in 2007. The self-funded project has grown slowly, has spent carefully, and manages more than one hundred and fifty miles of fiber with just two dedicated staff. The City had an early advantage because Danville is an electric city--they own many of the utility poles, and electric utility line crews have done much of the construction and maintenance work. Some specialized work, like fiber splicing, is still outsourced.

This article in Virginia Business highlights the slow but steady changes that the municipally-owned fiber have brought to the community.

  • The Danville Medical Network is an nDanville initiative, and more than 50 medical offices, facilities, and the hospital are linked via city-owned fiber, saving easily many tens of thousands of dollars a month.
  • The White Building renovation into a massive data center is directly a result of the availability of nDanville fiber at the site.
  • A new supercomputer will be housed in the Tobacco Warehouse district; superbly renovated historic tobacco warehouses and office buildings all have access to nDanville fiber.
  • The Ikea plant relies on nDanville fiber for one of their redundant fiber links to keep the plant running.
  • EcomNets, the green PC manufacuturer, uses nDanville fiber.

nDanville's early focus has been on serving businesses, and every lot in all five business parks in the area are passed by nDanville fiber. Many other commercial areas of the City are also passed by nDanville fiber, and all the substations in the 500 square mile electric service area are managed with nDanville fiber. But the project has just announced their first fiber to the home initiative, starting with a 250 home pilot project.

The City of Danville, which once had the highest unemployment in Virginia, now looks like the best place for a technology business in the Commonwealth. What other Virginia community can offer:

  • A community-owned fiber network that can deliver business class services affordably at ANY bandwidth anywhere on the network.
  • Some of the finest Class A office space in the state, in beautifully renovated historic buildings, with apartments, condos, and downtown nightlife in walking distance.
  • Community owned fiber that passes every business parcel in every single business park, with a wide choice of service providers.
  • A state of the art, 600,000 square foot data center coming online right in downtown Danville.
  • Beautiful historic homes and churches throughout the community.
  • Some of the lowest cost of living indexes in the region.

City leaders have taken the slow and steady approach on a wide variety of economic revitalization initiatives, but it is fiber that has, quite literally, connected the dots for Danville.

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