Supervisors ask Forbes to check into Internet delay

Published 9:49 am Tuesday, November 27, 2012

COURTLAND—Southampton County supervisors will ask U.S. Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., to check into the delay of getting wireless Internet to the county.

County Administrator Mike Johnson told supervisors during their Monday meeting that Internet provider Buggs Island blamed the delay on an interference encountered from Verizon cell towers. Headquartered in Bracey, Buggs Island expected to launch the service on Sept. 15.

“We have contacted them,” Johnson said. “They have indicated they are working on it, but can’t give a timeline.”

Newsoms District Supervisor Glenn Updike suggested Forbes look into the matter since the system was government funded.

Buggs Island received $18.9 million in federal stimulus money and $3.9 million from the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission for the $23 million system, which will provide the service to 15 counties, including Southampton and Isle of Wight.

An official with Buggs Island said last month the service could be delayed until the end of the year.

Once available, the minimum residential service will cost $37.95 a month for 1.5 megabits per second; the maximum will cost $54.95 at 4 megabits per second. Included in the fee is a $3 monthly equipment rental.

Businesses will start at $48 a month and pay up to $84.95 a month for 4 megabits. Up to 10 megabits per second will be available for businesses.

There are no caps or limitations on the service.

It will cost $119.99 for homes and businesses to hook up to the system, and users will be required to sign a two-year contract.

Residential rates will be offered to schools, hospitals, fire departments and local government.

For more information, call Buggs Island in South Hill at 1-434-689-6300, or corporate headquarters at 1-434-636-2274.