Chesapeake, Portsmouth, and VB could soon have more competition for internet

CHESAPEAKE, Va. – The Chesapeake City Council and the Portsmouth City Council are scheduled to decide, Tuesday evening, whether to grant a franchise agreement with a communications company that would offer high-speed internet to residents and businesses.

According to the Chesapeake City Council Agenda:

“The Department of Information Technology is requesting the adoption of an ordinance granting a city-wide Franchise Agreement to Lumos Telephone LLC to support the deployment of their broadband services in Chesapeake. This Franchise Agreement adds another broadband service provider to constituents in the City of Chesapeake.”

Lumos is based in Waynesboro, Virginia, about 30 miles west of Charlottesville.

A press release from Lumos states,

“Lumos will be making a big impact on the Tidewater region of Virginia, bringing ultra-high-speed fiber internet service to nearly 85,000 residents and businesses across the Virginia Beach, Chesapeake and Portsmouth communities. The Lumos expansion will blanket the region with over 760 miles of the latest fiber optic technology featuring 100 Gig speed capacity at a cost of over $83M. In addition, Lumos will generate jobs in the region with its plan to hire local sales, service and support teams.”

Derek Kelly, the senior director for marketing development with Lumos told News 3, that he is hopeful for an affirmative vote.

“The franchise agreement gives us the authority to begin building and offering services in the city, and so both the city council for both Chesapeake and Portsmouth are set to vote tomorrow night.” Kelly added that the Virginia Beach City Council is set to vote next week.

According to the provider’s website, “Lumos provides ultra-high-speed fiber internet service, wall-to-wall Wi-Fi, voice and streaming services to nearly 200,000 homes and businesses in Virginia and North Carolina, where we’re known as NorthState .”

When talking about parts of Chesapeake, Portsmouth, and Virginia Beach, Kelly said, “For these homes and businesses, we’ll be the first company to bring fiber to the home or to the business. Which means, today, they may have access through a cable or DSL network, but we believe fiber handles not only the needs for today but the needs going into the future.”

The communications company says construction would start in 2023, and it estimates that most of the project will be completed by 2025. Kelly said they hope some customers will be able to begin their service by next summer.

News 3 is looking further into this service and how it could affect Hampton Roads’ residents. This story will be updated.

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