A blueprint for extending access to high-speed internet was given the green light by the Franklin County Broadband Authority.

The broadband authority, which is comprised of members of the Franklin County Board of Supervisors, approved the broadband plan Aug. 20. The plan was developed by Design Nine Inc.

The county will not be an internet provider. Instead, Franklin County will work with existing providers, such as Blue Ridge Towers and Shentel, to deploy broadband.

Under the plan, the county would expand access to broadband in three phases through a mix of fixed wireless and fiber technology. According to a map that was presented to authority members, most areas of the county have some level of internet availability through DSL and cable. Currently, there is limited availability of wireless technology.

Many people with internet access were not satisfied with their service in terms of coverage level and speeds, said Franklin County Planning Director Steve Sandy.

DSL is primarily 25 megabits per second “or less in most cases,” Sandy said, and people have complained about the speeds.

-For more information, see the August 28 edition of the Smith Mountain Eagle-

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