Reporter: Ashley Singh l Videographer: Brian Vaughan
Danville, VA - Fiber optics is making all the difference for a Danville Dentist's group. Danville Dental Associates recently opened up their fourth office and they say it's the nDanville network that allowed them to do it.
This network has been available for businesses for a few years now and the city is really seeing the benefits. Officials say when it first became available, many businesses were interested, but then the economy hit a slump. Now that things are looking a little brighter, utilities officials say they expect many more businesses to sign up, expand and hopefully come to the area because of it.
It was the nDanville network that prompted Dr. Albert Payne to open his fourth dental office. He says multiple offices don't make sense if you can't keep them connected.
"I told them we wouldn't go out there if the network wasn't available for us," he said. "You want to have access to all the charts from all the different locations at one time."
Dr. Jeffrey Clifton, also with Danville Dental Associates, says as far as dentistry goes, the Southside is undeserved.
"A couple years ago we probably had maybe only two dentists under the age of 30 and we were getting a little bit concerned that there wasn't going to be enough people to care for the community," said Dr. Clifton.
That's why he and Dr. Payne say they've been aggressively hiring younger professionals.
"I could see in five years everybody would be retired and there wouldn't be any dentists to work on anybody, so now, we've got some young people ready to go to work," said Dr. Payne.
He says young people have been impressed to see a small city like Danville big into technology.
Broadband network manager, Jason Grey, says only a handful of cities in Virginia have this type of network.
"NDanville will be a huge marketing tool in bringing companies and future jobs to Danville in the foreseeable future," said Grey.
Grey says expanding to residential areas is the third and final step. Although council rejected the plan during the last council meeting, Grey says they'll include it in the budget for next year and see if the city can undertake the project.
"I think a lot more people could work from home if they had adequate broadband," said Grey.