Danville conference to focus on using fiber as catalyst for growth

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Leaders in the advanced broadband industry will gather in Danville next month to share ideas on how fiber networks can be used as a catalyst for economic development.

Registration is under way for the conference, which will be held Nov. 8-9 at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research. The conference is expected to draw more than 200 industry executives and professionals and local and state government officials from Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, West Virginia, South Carolina and beyond.

The Danville conference is the first in a series being held in response to growing interest on the part of communities in obtaining their own fiber networks – as Danville has done. The series is planned by Broadband Communities, a national trade magazine that serves as a leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for communities.

Broadband Communities selected Danville to serve as host for its first conference because of the city’s success in building a fiber network and using it to attract businesses and individuals seeking advanced telecommunication services.

“We are working on all fronts to bring positive attention to Danville,” City Manager Joe King said in a statement. “As host, this conference will be another opportunity for us.”

Earlier this year, Danville received national attention when King served as a presenter at a fiber technology summit held in Dallas hosted by Broadband Communities. Summit organizers held up Danville as a model for how small cities can use a fiber network.

Danville’s high-speed fiber network operates under the name of nDanville. Danville builds and maintains the network, and then allows private businesses to travel and sell services over it. In contrast to networks operated by many cities, nDanville does not compete directly with cable and telephone companies as a retailer for Internet, television and telephone services. These services must be supplied by separate retail providers.

The nDanville network serves all of Danville’s municipal and utility facilities, 27 schools and 93 businesses. It also connects local businesses to northern and eastern Virginia, the North Carolina Research Triangle, and points beyond over the Mid-Atlantic Broadband Cooperative’s regional fiber network.

The first phase of nDanville’s fiber-to-the-home deployment to 400 houses in central Danville is under way.

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