Bedford County breaks ground on first of 10 new communication towers

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BEDFORD Co., Va. (WDBJ7) -- A digital divide: That’s how leaders in Bedford County describe their access to the internet.

But, it will soon be a thing of the past.

Bedford County leaders broke ground on the first of 10 new communication towers. “This is the culmination of a vision," said Bedford County Administrator, Robert Hiss during Wednesday morning's event.

The towers will bring internet access to more than 90 percent of homes and business in the county - including to classrooms. "Right," confirmed Edward Hoisington.

Hoisington is the Director of technology with the school system.

He says each student 6th through 12th grade will have a Groogle Chrome Book, even some elementary students will be given a laptop computer.

It will start next school year after the construction of the new towers and 21 miles of fiber optic cable. “I think this is one of the biggest projects that this county has under taken in maybe decades," said Hess.

The project will cost more than $3.5 million with up to half covered by state grants, helping to bridge the gap of digital technology. “In the future we will be able to say, ‘your homework is here, your home work is on the Chrome Book," said Hoisington.

All in an effort to address what school leaders call the “homework divide."

"This is a huge step getting us in that direction," said BCPS Superintendent Doug Schuch.

Making a step into 21st century living and learning. “Learning happens everywhere now and so we have to provide that, we have to make sure students have access to whatever they want to learn about wherever they want to learn," Hoisington explained.

The tower are expected to be completed in about six months and in service by next year.