Danville, VA - Since 2004, Mid-Atlantic Broadband President & CEO Tad Deriso has had a dream for this region.
"We've really focused on our main mission, which is economic development, reinvesting in our communities and trying to bridge that digital divide, " Deriso said.
After 10 years in business, MBC is doing just that with 1,600 miles of underground fiber optic cable.
Their technology has been used to lower the cost of broadband in the area and help companies do business over the web at lightning speeds comparable to major metropolitan areas.
"That's been a big driver for companies saying I can come to Southern Virginia, and it's not only an affordable place to do business, but I have next generation network that can connect me to the rest of the world, " Deriso said.
One of the dozens of new Southside companies that were enticed by this technology is Microsoft. They built a billion dollar facility in Mecklenberg County thanks in part to MBC.
Now, they are moving the area forward in a new way.
"I think this is a great partnership with MBC and Gamewood Technologies to introduce this pilot project into the town, " said Halifax Town Manager Carl Espy.
Residents and visitors to Halifax can now enjoy free Wifi in the downtown area.
Simply select Halifax Wifi from a list of available networks, agree to the terms and conditions, and you are ready to browse the web.
The new solar-powered service is just another way Deriso is giving back to a community he has grown to love.
"Where we see our world going is continuing to promote Southern Virginia, " Deriso said.
Again, the free Wifi is still in a trial phase and its not meant to replace residential internet service.
Deriso says MBC recently opened a California office to encourage West Coast companies to open their East Coast branches in Southern Virginia, and that effort has already shown a lot of promise.