RVBA Delivers “Dark Fiber” to RAMP on Budget and Ahead of Schedule

A dark fiber network or simply dark network is a privately operated optical fiber network that is run directly by its operator over dark fiber leased or purchased from another supplier.

The Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority has delivered dark fiber optic broadband connectivity to the Regional Acceleration and Mentoring Program (RAMP) on budget and ahead of schedule.

RAMP, a regional business accelerator, is a collaboration between Roanoke city, Virginia Western Community College, and the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council. The program will help start-up businesses grow by giving them free office space, mentors, business education and access to capital.

RAMP’s dark fiber connectivity now enables Virginia Western Community College and other tenants to access the Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority’s world class fiber optic strand and conduit infrastructure while enabling end-users the flexibility to individually configure, procure, and manage their own fiber lines and data transport services.

“Dark Fiber is advantageous to growing businesses that wish to secure and invest up-front in future bandwidth capacity. As we remain committed to the economic development and technological growth of the Roanoke Valley, this partnership with RAMP makes perfect sense. We share a core commitment to maximizing the future growth potential and technological infrastructure of our region.” RVBA President and CEO Frank Smith said.

The Roanoke Broadband Authority currently serves the Roanoke Valley and selected surrounding areas and was awarded a Governor’s Technology Award for Cross-Boundary Collaboration in the fall of 2016.

“Virginia Western has collaborated with the Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority to provision fiber connectivity between its main campus and the two downtown Roanoke sites at the Claude Moore Education Center and the new entrepreneur training facilities inside the RAMP building,” said Shivaji Samanta, Director of Information and Educational Technologies at Virginia Western. “The project, delivered on time and within budget, provides VWCC with dedicated connectivity to its off-campus locations at speeds limited only by the equipment at the end-points for a fixed monthly cost.”

Virginia Western Community College will begin offering courses at RAMP in the old Gill Memorial Hospital Building on Jefferson Street downtown next month.