Free Lance-Star reporter Robyn Sidersky covers Caroline County government and schools. You can reach her at 540/374-5413 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow coverage on Facebook or Twitter as well.
Comcast to provide high speed Internet to western Caroline
Response from Western Caroline Internet Alliance:
We are very excited about Comcast’s decision to provide wired, enhanced media services (including high-speed Internet) to the western part of Caroline County. The High-speed Internet Committee of Lake Land’Or and the Western Caroline Internet Alliance (including the communities of Belmont,
Caroline Pines, Lake Caroline and Lake Land’Or) have worked tirelessly in their relentless pursuit of this vital service.
I would like to thank Mr. Tom Coughlin, Senior Vice President of Comcast Communications, for listening to the concerns that we brought to him in January. Mr. Coughlin met with the Western Caroline Internet Alliance and Caroline County officials on February 7th and agreed to provide an answer about Comcast service within four to six weeks.
The official answer was received from Comcast on Friday afternoon, and members of the communities in western Caroline County have been jumping for joy since. This decision represents the culmination of enormous volunteer efforts on the part of people from several communities. Community members
collected petition signatures at community entrances, solicited support door-to-door, wrote letters to government officials, and attended a County Board of Supervisors meeting en masse to voice their concerns. The result is proof that grass-roots activism has a profound effect.
The communities in western Caroline plan to continue to meet and act together to address common
issues in the future.
From the county:
Comcast to provide high speed internet to Caroline County
Date: March 18, 2011
Alan Partin, Interim County Administrator
Bowling Green—Caroline County’s long struggle to bring high speed internet to a majority of its citizens has succeeded. Comcast, one of America’s largest providers of internet services, has committed to extend wired internet service to the residential communities in western Caroline County.
Notification came to the County in the form of an email by Thomas Coughlin, Senior Vice President, outlining Comcast’s commitment to serve the community and the dates of likely construction of the new lines and their completion.
Construction will begin in April or May of this year at Belmont and expand both north and south to cover the communities of Lake Caroline, Lake Land ‘Or, Lake Heritage, Glen Meadows, Holly Ridge, and Caroline Pines. Service to all areas is anticipated by the end of the year, but service will begin at the time infrastructure reaches each community.
The successful expansion of high speed internet service came after several years of work by the Board of Supervisors with government agencies, private businesses, and federal officials to lever a commitment to provide internet services to Caroline communities.
Caroline has been in the identical position as many rural communities next to urban areas: close to modern internet service, but one step beyond the profit model of most internet service providers. By obtaining high speed internet service for its citizens, the Caroline Board of Supervisors has achieved what few rural communities have been able to accomplish.
County officials, while acknowledging the Comcast success, also recognize the remaining challenge of providing some form of faster internet service in the more remote areas of Caroline. Conversations with other internet providers are being scheduled and further progress for expanding service to more remote areas of the County remains a goal of County government.
Gary R. Wilson
Director of Economic Development & Tourism