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Over the past year, staff and the Amherst County Broadband Committee have been collaborating to facilitate the private sector development of wireless broadband infrastructure in Amherst County. One way that this is being implemented is by creating a process to allow wireless service providers to locate on existing public safety towers in the County. County staff collaborated with Region 2000 and their attorney’s to prepare an agreement for wireless internet service providers to locate their equipment on such towers. Region 2000 manages five (5) towers that are used by the radio board, those towers are: Amherst Control Point, High Peak Mountain, Panther Mountain, Buffalo Ridge and Rocky Mountain towers.

Staff and the Amherst County Broadband Committee is also working closely with Sweet Briar College to utilize a 2.5 Gigahertz spectrum that could allow wireless internet service providers the ability to use this frequency and improve coverage across Amherst County. Sweet Briar College has been working closely with their staff to determine a mechanism to offer this broadband for the best use of the community.

In talks with wireless internet service providers, the deployment of wireless broadband infrastructure will also include small towers on private property to allow for better connection to homes in areas where the terrain is more challenging. A code change was approved by the Amherst County Board of Supervisors to allow for the placement of such towers. Wireless broadband facilities are now permitted as accessory structures.

The Amherst County Broadband committee is working directly with an expert consultant whom is producing a draft contract for detailed negotiations with SCS Broadband.