Wythe County Fixed Wireless Broadband Development Request For Proposals/ Request for Qualifications
Wythe County is widely known for its fantastic transportation infrastructure. Our information infrastructure should match so residents and businesses have high-quality Internet service to learn, expand health care options, conduct business, seek entertainment and connect to one another at high speed with reasonable pricing. Wythe County wants to facilitate service expansion but does not want to serve as an authority or service provider.
The Proposed Solution
Design Nine of Blacksburg has just completed a broadband development study for Wythe County. Surveys of county residents indicate that many meet the FCC definition of unserved or underserved customers. Many rely on aging copper networks and have service speeds well below current demand and advertised service levels.
The study recommends Wythe County partner with a private provider to operate county-wide fixed wireless broadband service. To that end, the study includes preliminary engineering and signal propagation with approximate siting of redundant fixed wireless towers. Additional community poles and small towers will be needed to reach the most remote customers.
The Wythe County Board of Supervisors finds there is a current need, adopted public-private partnership guidelines and authorized staff to seek partnerships. The County hereby seeks proposals and qualifications from responsible partners who can meet the County’s expected outcomes.
Wythe County seeks to form long-term partnerships with qualified Fixed Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISP) and/or tower construction specialists to make county-wide residential and commercial broadband available to the vast majority of Wythe County consumers by July 2024.