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On July 31, 2013, Citizens Telephone Cooperative, Inc. (Citizens) announced the completion of construction on its BTOP (Broadband Technologies Opportunities Program) CCI (Comprehensive Community Infrastructure) Project. The $11.5 million project, titled New River Valley – Regional Open Access Network (NRV-ROAN), was completed on schedule and on budget. The completed project placed 200 miles of fiber with the purpose of providing broadband access for economic development, research, education, emergency response, and health care. The NRV-ROAN is a collaboration between Citizens and the New River Valley Network Wireless Authority (NRVNWA), which received a $9.2 million grant under the Broadband Technologies Opportunities Program (BTOP) by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and a $396,622 grant by the Virginia Tobacco Commission for this project.

The NRV-ROAN project meets the needs of many community anchor institutions in the New River Valley region of Virginia who have previously reported being unable to access high-speed, affordable broadband services. “This ‘middle-mile’ project covers a seven-county region including Wythe, Pulaski, Floyd, Giles, Montgomery, Roanoke and Botetourt Counties. The 200 Gbps network addition includes eight primary interconnection points that are strategically positioned to provide service to unserved and/or undeserved areas and to tie into other open access fiber networks. “This network allows wireless and other internet service providers to offer broadband to areas where service was previously unavailable, or areas that were determined to be economically infeasible.” said Dennis Reece, COO & Assistant General Manager of Citizens.

Because of this new expansion, more than 50 Community Anchor Institutions (CAIs) including Virginia Tech, Radford University, New River Community College, local high schools, public safety entities, health-care facilities and government facilities, now have access to symmetrical speeds between 5Mbps and 10Gbps (10,000Mbps). To date, 39 Community Anchor Institutions (CAIs) and nine businesses have been connected as a result of this project.

The NRV-ROAN, along with Citizens’ existing Open Access Fiber Network, extends over 438 miles and spans ten counties (Roanoke, Montgomery, Wythe, Pulaski, Floyd, Giles, Botetourt, Patrick, Carroll, Grayson), ten towns (Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Wytheville, Floyd, Pulaski, Dublin, Hillsville, Independence, Stuart, Pearisburg), and three cities (Salem, Radford, and Galax). This combined network passes by or through more than a dozen industrial parks and multiple small business incubators.

Citizens is a member-owned telephone cooperative headquartered in the Floyd, Virginia, providing communication services within the region since 1914. For more information about Citizens and the services offered, visit at citizens.coop. Click Here to download a pdf of this release.

Citizens Telephone Cooperative, Inc. is posting Addendums to the Contract IV bid packet. The Addendum documents are located on the website with the bid packet and at the following links:

* If you have trouble viewing the files in a web browser, right click and choose save as to download the file *

* Added August 29th, 2012 Addendum 1 to Contract IV * Addendum 1 to Contract IV

* Added August 31st, 2012 Addendum 2 to Contract IV * Addendum 2 to Contract IV

Citizens will be accepting bids for a Outside Plant Construction project consisting of 24 miles of buried and aerial fiber installation. The project is located in Pulaski and Giles counties of southwest Virginia and a 45 day time limit. There will be a Mandatory Pre-Bid Conference on August 21, 2012 at the Citizens office in Floyd, Virginia.

The bid packet and project construction sheets will be located on the Citizens Web site at www.citizens.coop and at the following links:

* If you have trouble viewing the files in a web browser, right click and choose save as to download the file *

Project Manual

Project Plans

* Updated August 29th, 2012 Addendum 1 to Contract IV *

Addendum 1 to Contract IV

* Updated August 31st, 2012 Addendum 2 to Contract IV *

Addendum 2 to Contract IV

Citizens Telephone Cooperative (Citizens) recently announced the expansion of its existing open-access fiber network in rural Virginia, making affordable, high-speed broadband service a reality for under-served and unserved areas. On Wednesday, April 25, representatives from local and state organizations joined for a ribbon cutting ceremony signifying the joint endeavors of the open-access project and the renaming of the NRV Competitiveness Center to the NRV Business Center.

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This project meets the need of many community anchor institutions in the New River Valley region of Virginia who report being unable to access high-speed, affordable broadband services. In an effort to address this problem, NTIA (National Telecommunications and Information Administration) awarded a $9.2 million dollar grant to Citizens Telephone Cooperative (Citizens) to extend its open-access fiber network into unserved and under-served communities in the region. The project, New River Valley – Regional Open Access Network or NRV-ROAN, is an $11.5 million dollar project to construct 186 miles of middle mile fiber with access in remote communities with the purpose of providing access for economic development, research, education, emergency response, and health care. The grant proposal was a collaboration between Citizens and the New River Valley Network Wireless Authority (NRVNWA).

This “middle-mile” project traverses a seven county region which includes Wythe, Pulaski, Floyd, Giles, Montgomery, Roanoke and Botetourt. Initially this 186 mile network addition will be 100Gbps (100,000Mbps) and include eight primary interconnection points that are strategically positioned to provide service to unserved and/or under-served areas and to tie into other open access fiber networks. This will allow wireless and other internet service providers to offer services to areas where service was previously unavailable; or areas that were determined to be economically infeasible.

ribbon2

“The impact and opportunities this joint venture will provide on these rural communities by allowing them to gain access to high quality, high speed, and affordable networks is paramount.” says Dennis Reece, COO & Assistant General Manager of Citizens.

Because of this new expansion, more than 50 community anchor institutions including Virginia Tech, Radford University, New River Community College, public safety entities, health-care facilities and government facilities will have access to symmetrical speeds between 5Mbps and 10Gbps (10,000Mbps) through Citizens’ extended open-access network.

fiber1fiber2fiber3fiber4fiber5fiber6

Fiber Plow Setup
This video shows the setup of the fiber plow on Lee Hwy in Wythe County.

Separation Between Warning Tape and Fiber
Video taken along E Lee Hwy in Wythe County clearly shows the separation between the fiber and warning tape. There is normally a 12-18″ gap between them, so that anyone digging knows once they see the tape that they are near the fiber.

Close-up of Fiber Plow in Action
Close-up of fiber plow in action along E Lee Hwy in Wythe County.

Citizens received bids on May 12, 2011 from the following contractors for the three proposed construction projects:

  • Mastec North America, Inc.
  • Utilipath LLC
  • Unitek Global Services
  • Nichols Construction LLC
  • S&N Communications
  • Lamberts Cable Splicing Company LLC
  • ROHL Networks LP

Citizens and Thompson & Litton have completed reviews on all bids and have selected the following contracting firms to perform the proposed construction work:

Contract I – Wytheville to Christiansburg

Nichols Construction LLC

Contract II – Floyd to Botetourt

Lamberts Cable Splicing Company LLC

Contract III – Blacksburg, co-location sites, drops to schools

Lamberts Cable Splicing Company LLC

Citizens and Thompson & Litton would like to thank all respondents for their interest in the projects and in submitting the bid proposals in the time requested.

The NRV-ROAN project has been broken down into three concurrent construction contracts. Provided are brief descriptions and downloads for each contract. Any updates and corrections will be promptly posted on this website, in addition to an email notification to all registered vendors.

Construction firms are encouraged to bid on one or multiple contracts.

List of Firms in Attendance at the Pre-Bid Meeting

  • Cable Services
  • CEI
  • CL Draughn, Inc.
  • DA Foster
  • Fishel Company
  • Lambert’s Cable
  • Mastec
  • Nichols Construction
  • Rohl Networks
  • S&N Communications
  • UniTek GS
  • Utilipath

Contract I: Wytheville to Christiansburg

Total of 104.25 miles (16.5 miles aerial; 85.8 miles buried); 180 workdays

Areas of construction include the counties of Wythe, Pulaski, and Montgomery; the city of Radford; and the towns of Pulaski, Dublin, Wytheville, and Christiansburg.

Contract II: Floyd to Botetourt

Total of 71 miles (15.7 miles aerial; 55.3 miles buried); 130 workdays

Areas of construction include the counties of Floyd, Montgomery, Roanoke, and Botetourt; the city of Salem; and the town of Christiansburg.

Contract III: Blacksburg, co-location sites, drops to schools

Total of 10 miles (aerial, buried and conduit; 2 co-location sites); 90 workdays

Areas of construction include the counties of Montgomery and Pulaski; the towns of Christiansburg and Blacksburg.

Contract Awarded:

The contract for the Professional Engineering RFP has been negotiated and executed. The bids were very equal overall for the work to be performed; in the end it came down to price. The lowest bidder was selected and has entered into a contract with that price locked, barring any major changes to the project.

Thompson & Litton, Inc. was awarded the contract.

List of Firms that Responded to RFP:

  • Anderson & Associates, Inc.
  • Beacon Solutions Group
  • InfoTech Enterprises America, Inc.
  • KCI Technologies, Inc.
  • McCall-Thomas Engineering Company, Inc.
  • Mid-South Consulting Engineers, Inc.
  • ONUG Communications, Inc.
  • OPTICA Engineering Group, Inc.
  • Palmetto Engineering & Consulting, LLC
  • RJE Telecom, LLC
  • Thompson & Litton, Inc.

Note: This list is in alphabetical order and does not reflect the order of the RFP bid numbers

RFP bids:

Ranged from $821,711.83 to $2,008,129.00 with an average of $1,280,040.77

Citizens Telephone Cooperative (Citizens) will expand existing open-access fiber in rural Virginia, making affordable, high-speed broadband service a reality for underserved and unserved areas.
Many community anchor institutions in the New River Valley region of Virginia report being unable to access high-speed, affordable broadband services. In an effort to address this problem, NTIA has awarded a $9.2 million dollar grant to Citizens Telephone Cooperative (Citizens) to extend its open-access fiber network into unserved and underserved communities in the region. The project, New River Valley – Regional Open Access Network or NRV-ROAN, is an $11.5 million dollar project to construct 186 miles of middle mile fiber with access in remote communities with the purpose of providing access for economic development, research, education, emergency response, and health care. The grant proposal was a joint effort between Citizens and the New River Valley Network Wireless Authority (NRVNWA).

This “middle-mile” project traverses a seven county region, including Wythe, Pulaski, Floyd, Giles, Montgomery, Roanoke and Botetourt. Initially this 186 mile route will be 200Gbps and include eight primary interconnection points that are strategically positioned to provide service to unserved and/or underserved areas and to tie into other open access networks. This will allow wireless and other internet service providers to offer services to areas where service was previously unavailable; or areas that were determined to be economically infeasible.

“The impact and opportunities this joint venture will provide on these rural communities by allowing them to gain access to high quality, high speed, and affordable networks is paramount.” says Dennis Reece, Assistant General Manager of Citizens.

Adds Congressman Rick Boucher, “Our work to build Southwest Virginia’s broadband infrastructure has borne fruit. For example in the Spring, I announced that DIRECTV would locate a virtual call center in our region as a result of the region’s extensive broadband network, and that center now employs 137 Southwest Virginia residents. The federal funds announced today represent another major step forward in advancing our economic development opportunities by expanding our information technology infrastructure”.

More than 50 community anchor institutions including Virginia Tech, Radford University, New River Community College, public safety entities, healthcare facilities and government facilities will have access to speeds between 10 Mbps and 10 Gbps through Citizens extended open-access network. Entities such as Radford University will now have diverse routing, significantly decreasing the chances of network loss and New River Community College’s two campuses will now be interconnected, as will four public school systems: Pulaski, Giles, Montgomery and Wythe.

Citizens Telephone Cooperative, a member-owned telephone cooperative headquartered in the Floyd, Virginia, has provided communications services within the region since 1914. The company has extensive experience managing grants to deploy networks, including a 246-mile open access network by leveraging its infrastructure in conjunction with funding from the Virginia Tobacco Commission.