Open-access fiber optic network continues to help regional economy grow
Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation (MBC), a successful wholesale fiber-optic open-access network transport provider, is celebrating their 10 year anniversary today. Many things have changed over the last ten years, but MBC has remained steadfast in working to fulfill its core mission areas of promoting economic development, lessening the burdens of government, bridging the digital divide, and reinvesting in our communities.
The initial investment in 2004 from the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission funded the build out of the first 800 miles of fiber throughout Southern Virginia, connecting every single industrial, business and technology park in the region. MBC recently completed three Federal grants through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 which included the construction of over 700 additional miles of fiber to the original network. Those projects included extending open-access fiber to all K-12 schools in Southern Virginia, extending the fiber backbone west to Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, and extending network builds to southeast Virginia/Hampton Roads market in partnership with Old Dominion University. Today, MBC maintains a regional fiber network of 1600+ route miles with over 300 buildings and 70 towers on-net, including direct connectivity to the largest Internet peering hubs in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic region.
As MBC's network has grown, so has the MBC team. Mid-Atlantic Broadband now has fifteen full-time employees dedicated to managing the $100 million organization. Since its inception in 2004, MBC has directly enabled the creation of over 900 full-time jobs and attracted over $1.3 Billion in private sector investments from companies expanding their presence in rural Southern Virginia. MBC recently opened an office in Silicon Valley, California to promote Southern Virginia and enhance our economic development recruitment efforts for companies looking to expand to cost effective east coast markets.
As a non-profit entity, Mid-Atlantic Broadband understands the importance of reinvesting in the communities. To date, MBC has invested over $385,000 in education, technology and social causes including sponsorships for all high school robotics teams, YMCA's, Boys & Girls Clubs, Head Start Programs, and scholarships for students in Southern Virginia. MBC is also an active member of twenty-six local Chambers of Commerce in Southern Virginia and actively promotes technology to the business communities.
"It's humbling to see that a simple business idea in 2004 could blossom into a sustainable economic growth engine for Southern Virginia," said Tad Deriso, President & CEO of MBC. "Thanks to the visionary leaders at the Virginia Tobacco Commission, Old Dominion Electric Cooperative, Virginia Tech and the US Department of Commerce Economic Development Agency who believed that investing in an open-access fiber optic network infrastructure would help revitalize the regional economy. We commit to continue building on that trust, and are truly excited to be a part of the economic revitalization of Southern Virginia."