The Eastern Shore of Virginia Broadband Authority was formed in early 2008 to bring high performance fiber and wireless services to every home and business in the two county—Eastern Shore region of Virginia. The badly underserved area has high levels of poverty and faces a unique set of challenges due in part to its longstanding geographic isolation. The Broadband Authority hired Design Nine in the spring of 2008 to develop financial and business models, develop a project plan for the effort, perform mapping of existing assets and key broadband users and anchor tenants, and to provide advice as needed to the Authority board of directors. Work tasks and deliverables have included:
- Design and management of online and paper-based broadband use surveys. Design Nine produced both residential and business surveys, tabulated the data, and produced written reports for the surveys.
- Design Nine developed an extensive series of ten year financial models, using several different business model scenarios, including mixed fiber and wireless, fiber only, and open access options. The Authority chose to implement the open access model, with all services provided by private sector service providers.
- Design Nine has served as an advisor for service provider partnerships and negotiations, and a major incumbent provider serving an adjacent area has already committed to come to the Shore once the network is operational.
- Design Nine has prepared an extensive set of maps using a variety of data sets, including population density, tax parcel data, proposed fiber and wireless routes and service areas, and detailed planning maps with fiber and wireless implementation detail.
- Design Nine has prepared detailed bills of materials for the initial deployment of fiber and wireless services in eight towns and service areas.