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Mid-Atlantic Broadband Cooperative

The Mid-Atlantic Broadband Cooperative is a not-for-profit organization created in 2003 by a group of visionary regional leaders who wanted to revitalize the economy of Southside Virginia. Carole Inge, director of the Modeling and Simulation Center for Collaborative Technologies and chief strategist for the Virginia Clean Energy Business Incubator, is a founding member and served on its first board.

Revitalizing the economy of the area began with writing a sustainable business plan to build a cost-effective, carrier-class telecom infrastructure that would expand broadband services in the region, provide unique opportunities for research and development, and create opportunities for the private sector to deploy competitive broadband services.

In 2004, MBC created a plan to build over 700 miles of new fiber optic infrastructure, using the latest optical network equipment, while owning the facilities and infrastructure that would be used for the project. Beginning with a $6 million grant from the US Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration and a matching $6 million from the Virginia Tobacco Commission, MBC built the first 300 miles of network infrastructure in the region.

To date, the organization has spent $106M on the network, and an 800-mile fiber optic network is now in operation. This infrastructure drives economic development by providing a carrier-class, highly scalable telecommunications transport network that links formerly underserved rural areas to the virtual world.

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