Industries Economic Development

Solar-powered broadband pilot project begun in Halifax

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The South Boston-based nonprofit Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corp. (MBC) has launched of a pilot project in Halifax to test the capability solar-powered Wi-Fi equipment to provide wireless broadband access throughout the town. 

MBC, in conjunction with Wireless ISP Gamewood Technologies Group, launched the pilot project to test the coverage, speed and functionality of unique wireless rural broadband access equipment and evaluate the technology for wider deployment in rural, unserved communities.

The solar-powered equipment is from Vihaan Networks Limited (VNL), a hi-tech company headquartered in India.

The Halifax project incorporates VNL’s Rural Site and Village Site solutions, which utilize solar power to run the wireless network. The wireless system is connected to MBC’s open-access, fiber-optic transport network that provides dedicated connectivity from the solar-powered base station to Gamewood’s Internet Network.

“Bridging the Digital Divide is a critical piece of our mission," said Tad Deriso, president and CEO of MBC. “We continue to try new things to enable [Internet service providers] to expand their last-mile reach. We believe a solar-powered wireless broadband platform can be a benefit to continue expansion of low-cost wireless broadband services in hard to reach, rural areas of Southern Virginia.”

Founded in 2004, MBC promotes economic development in Southern Virginia through the operation of an advanced, open-access, fiber-optic network, providing wholesale telecommunications transport services, colocation and tower leasing. 
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