KIPTOPEKE — At the 21st annual Eastern Shore of Virginia Harvest Festival, the Eastern Shore of Virginia Broadband Authority presented Accomack and Northampton counties checks for the first installment to repay the funds which both counties contributed to create the authority.
State Sen. Ralph Northam and Delegate Lynwood Lewis took time out from greeting constituents to participate in the ceremony.
Northam and Lewis, along with former U.S. Sen. Jim Webb, were instrumental in arranging more than $11 million in state and federal funding to construct the ESVBA’s fiber optic network.
More than 100 physical facilities have been connected to the ESVBA’s fiber optic infrastructure, including public safety E911, educational and health care facilities, the Community College and the NASA/NAVY/NOAA complex at Wallops.
“This is a great success story. Thanks to the ESVBA, the Shore has important new infrastructure and is now well-positioned for participating in the high-tech world of the 21st century. Heath care in particular will be transformed in the years to come, and this fiber optic network will provide critically needed capabilities,” Northam said.
Delegate Lewis added, “Getting fast connectivity and effectively unlimited bandwidth to our schools and students was an important goal for Ralph and me, and it is gratifying to see the ESVBA’s progress.”
“The path to where we are today was not an easy one. There were many times when the sustainability of the ESVBA was doubtful, which is why I am very proud that the ESVBA is financially, in a position to begin repaying this money,” said Nicholas Pascaretti, ESVBA executive director.
“All citizens of the Eastern Shore are now benefiting either directly, or indirectly, through the schools, health care institutions, businesses and government facilities that utilize the ESVBA’s network,” Pascaretti added.
Reprinted from the Eastern Shore News, October 16, 2013 Edition; Photo by Chris Glennon