What will be the impact of Ting’s purchase of a majority stake in Charlottesville’s Blue Ridge Internetworks? Hopefully more fiber in more places, better accessibility, lower prices, and higher property values.
Ting (I’d never heard of them until yesterday) just bought a majority interest in Blue Ridge Internetworks, Charlottesville’s local fiber ISP, host, provider of great service.
Hopefully, this means that fiber spools will start to be run all over the Charlottesville area … soon.
How crucial is internet access to the real estate market? Critical. Most often, the choice is a binary, as in, “yes, I’ll consider that house/location” or, “nope. No fast internet, not an option.”
Will people move to Charlottesville (Charlottesville, Albemarle, surrounding counties) because we have fiber? I’d bet the answer will be yes. Broadband increases property values.
From Ting’s blog post:
Today, we’re excited to announce that we bought the majority stake in a small, independent Internet service provider (ISP) in Charlottesville, Virginia called Blue Ridge InternetWorks (BRI). Just like that, we’re starting our new mission to bring the things that people love about Ting for mobile to the world of fixed access.
We love Charlottesville, home of the University of Virginia, mostly because of all the beautiful things that tend to surround a college campus – entrepreneurship, a strong focus on education at all levels, culture, creativity, philanthropy, activism… just the sort of activities that benefit the most from and contribute the most to the Internet.
And from CNN (bolding mine):
“But we have an opportunity with BRI in Charlottesville to offer even more than great service at a low price. The step up to gigabit, or ultra high-speed, access is profound,” continued Mr. Noss. “It can change the way people use and enjoy the Internet. It can help attract and grow businesses and transform a community.”
“There is a wonderful movement going on. Towns are excited about the potential of fiber and they are lobbying for it. So far, these build-outs have mostly been ‘side projects’ for industry giants. I think we can prove there is enough demand and profit to make it work absolutely anywhere and to attract and sustain smaller, more customer-focused providers like us. It’s an exciting experiment.”
Jeff Cornejo, co-founder of BRI, echoed this enthusiasm. “For almost fifteen years, we have provided a wonderful, service-driven alternative to big guys like Comcast and CenturyLink. But to do what we want to do, to give Charlottesville the fastest, best Internet access in the country, we needed some more muscle. Ting gives us the capital and the technical capabilities we need without compromising our focus on customer relationships.”
Yes. Want fiber in your neighborhood? Sign up here.