Virginia City of Bristol to Serve as ISP

Bristol Virginia Utilities (BVU) has contracted with Optical Solutions Inc. to deploy an optical networking system in a competitive, aerial overbuild to the businesses of Bristol, Va. The high-speed network will deliver voice and high-speed data — up to 100 Mbps — to 1,100 Bristol-area businesses in the first phase of construction.

In the future, the BVU network will serve the community’s 16,000 residents. BVU said it is implementing the project to foster economic development in the area and enhance the quality of life for residents.

BVU will serve as the network Internet service provider (ISP), providing premise security services as well as future applications such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and video conferencing.

“A fiber-optic network will make all the difference in allowing Bristol’s business community to grow and compete for jobs on the upper-end of the wage scale,” said Jim Kelley, manager of telecommunications for BVU. “We cannot afford to wait for the day when private industry decides to deliver competitive broadband services to our community.”

The Bristol overbuild marks the first significant deployment of the Minnesota-based Optical Solutions’ FiberPath 400 in a business application.

“Optical Solutions has been synonymous with fiber-to-the-home for several years, but the Bristol deployment should make it clear that our latest generation system can handle the communication needs of high tech businesses — and the needs of an entire community,” said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Darryl Ponder.

Optical Solutions’ customers are facilities-based service providers including independent telephone companies, competitive and incumbent local exchange carriers, utilities, municipalities and housing developers.

Added James Salter, CEO of Atlantic Engineering Group, which is engineering the project for BVU, “Systems such as the FiberPath 400 are ideal for small and large communities because they converge voice, video and data service on one scalable platform, so there’s built-in service efficiency for the operator and the customer. One system, one network, one bill, and one number to call for customer service.”

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