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Louisa County Broadband Authority
September 7, 2021 - County-wide Fiber Project Update
Firefly Fiber Broadband addressed the Board of Supervisors today to layout their schedule and financing details of the County Wide Fiber Project. Slides from their presentation provide currently available project information.
One of the questions most often posed to County officials and employees is whether and when a citizen will benefit from this project. Timing will vary based on electric service area, but Firefly has stated fiber to the premise will be available for every residence and business in Louisa County, regardless of electric provider or location.
The map below depicts the light blue areas in the County where the RISE project is applying for Virginia Telecommunication Initiative (VATI) grant money to assist in the installation of fiber in Louisa (as well as adjacent counties). The dark blue CVEC service area in the western part of the County is funded by Firefly. Federal funding through the Connect America Fund are shown in yellow and will provide grants to assist Firefly installations. The purple areas currently have existing broadband available OR have received Federal and/or State funding for providing broadband and are not eligible to include in the VATI application, but will still have fiber installed.
Have you taken the survey yet? Your help is needed to define the final unserved area map! Please visit www.fireflyva.com/rise from your home computer using your home internet connection and follow the link to complete a short survey providing your address and what internet service options you have.
Learn more about the phases of fiber construction.
(installation underway off Poindexter Road in Louisa County)
July 13, 2021 - Work Underway to Expand Broadband to REC Member-Owners in Louisa – Some Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC) member-owners in Louisa County are one step closer to having access to broadband internet service.
In June, REC began the make-ready engineering and design process for the fiber build in partnership with Firefly Fiber BroadbandSM. Authorized contractors from Pike Engineering are currently working in the Shannon Hill area conducting pole-by-pole surveys to determine what preparations are needed to existing facilities for the fiber installation.
“This is a significant milestone in the process to bring broadband to the REC service territory in Louisa County,” said John Hewa, REC president and CEO. “We look forward to completing work in these initial areas of the county and continuing to expand.”
Over the next several weeks, residents will see authorized contractors from Pike Engineering in the Shannon Hill area and possibly on their property. Once survey work is completed around Shannon Hill, Pike Engineering will move to the area of REC’s Mt. Hope substation off of Route 33 and Paynes Mill Road in the eastern end of Louisa County.
After field engineering is complete, make ready construction crews will move into the areas to make modifications to the poles and change some poles. Following the make ready construction, fiber construction will begin as the fiber optic cable is added to the electric facilities. After that step, splicing will take place and then service extensions will be added. The entire process will take six to eight months from the beginning of make ready engineering to the final connections inside homes.
“The construction of the fiber infrastructure takes some time, but the result is a long-term solution that will provide long term benefits to the electric system and provide internet access to REC members. We appreciate the patience of the members as we build this new state of the art network,” says Casey Hollins, REC spokesperson and managing director – communications and public relations.
As REC and Firefly continue to define the order of work throughout Louisa County, member-owners will be notified directly and updates will be provided. Some REC member-owners in the Shannon Hill and Mt. Hope areas can expect to receive notifications from Firefly near the end of 2021 inviting them to sign-up for service. “Firefly is excited that the work has begun to further expand access to gigabit speed fiber internet service in Louisa County. We recognize the need for reliable, affordable broadband service and we are happy to be working with REC to meet those needs for families and small businesses in Louisa County,” said Dennis Reece, General Manager of Firefly.
Serving as the cornerstone of the project in Louisa County, REC will own the fiber network constructed in the majority of the county. It is providing use of its infrastructure to Firefly, including poles, to make the Louisa County broadband initiative a reality.
Firefly is the internet service provider for the partnership and will ensure the availability of fiber broadband on a county-wide basis. Firefly will oversee construction of the REC-owned fiber in the REC service territory and then be responsible for network operation and fiber maintenance.
April 30, 2021 - Firefly Fiber Broadband Will Expand in Louisa County Sooner Than Planned - Firefly Fiber BroadbandSM, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Central Virginia Electric Cooperative (CVEC), announced that their fiber broadband and voice-over-IP phone service will be available in the Henson’s Store area of Louisa County sooner than anticipated. CVEC started fiber construction at the Henson’s Store substation more quickly than planned due to securing additional construction crews to work on the build, partly due to the project commitment from Louisa County earlier this year. Louisa residents along Poindexter Road and South Spotswood Trail and east of Poindexter Road along Jack Jouett and Byrd Mill will receive service from the Henson’s Store build as early as summer 2021. To determine if your home is included in this build, visit www.fireflyva.com and click on ‘Check Availability’ to search your address.
Firefly is currently offering gigabit speed fiber broadband to CVEC members residing in the Cash’s Corner and Zion areas. Fiber construction is currently underway at the Ferncliff and Doubleday substations and connections in those areas is set for fall 2021. Residents who have not yet signed up but are wishing to get service should contact Firefly to register at www.fireflyva.com or 833-473-3591.
In a press release on March 1, 2021, a partnership with Louisa County and Firefly, Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC), and Dominion Energy was announced to bring high-speed internet to all underserved homes and businesses in Louisa. Firefly and CVEC have added crews to their construction workforce and the expansion of the CVEC fiber and Firefly services in Henson’s Store will facilitate extension of broadband availability into the REC electric territory. Make ready work will begin soon on the REC system and announcements will be made regarding where the build will begin as well as the timeline for the construction. The entire fiber build in Louisa County is slated for completion by the end of 2025.
Headquartered in Palmyra, VA, Firefly Fiber BroadbandSM is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Central Virginia Electric Cooperative. Firefly offers lightning fast internet via fiber to the premise that is reliable and priced fairly with no hidden equipment costs or price increases. Firefly has no contracts, no data caps or slowdowns and offers symmetrical upload and download speeds. Firefly Light offers 100 mbps for $49.99; Firefly Flash offers 1 gbps for $79.99; and Firefly Voice is $34.99 with a $5.00 discount when bundled with the internet. For more information, visit www.fireflyva.com.
January 2018 - Central Virginia Electric Cooperative (CVEC) - CVEC announced its plans to embark on a $110 million project to build fiber in order to better incorporate smart grid technology into its daily operations, improve integration of distributed energy resources, and help lower power costs through interactive energy management programs. Increasing bandwidth for communications within CVEC’s system will improve efficiency, increase reliability, and expand security. In addition to the benefits to the Cooperative, members will have a chance to take advantage of the reliable, high speed internet that only fiber to the home (FTTH) can offer in rural areas. Internet and telephone services will be offered by Firefly Broadband, CVEC’s subsidiary https://www.fireflyva.com/.
The CVEC/Firefly plan is to reach every home and business in CVEC's entire service area within five years and will install over 4,500 miles of fiber-optic cable in the 14 counties it serves, providing broadband internet to all of its 36,000 members.