Please Wait For Loading

704 Bland St, Bluefield, WV 24701 (540) 726-2317

Grayson - GigaBeam Networks

    You Are Currently Here!
  • Home
  • Grayson
Project Partners Include:

Last Updated February 2024

History of the Project

In 2019, Grayson County Administration selected GigaBeam Networks to partner with the County to solve the rural broadband issues for the unserved locations throughout the County. Soon after, Appalachian Power selected Grayson to be the county for their pilot project under the direction of new Virginia legislation, thanks to Delegate O’Quinn, allowing investor owned utilities to help provide fiber optic lines in unserved areas.  This pilot project is the first in the nation to utilize this unique opportunity and partnership of local/state government, investor owned utilities and private ISP’s.

Phase 1:  

APCO Utility Leverage Project and VATI 2020 funding.  After securing approximately $1.8 million in VATI funds from the 2020 funding year, GigaBeam and Appalachian Power constructed a fiber to the premise network along the 238 mile path chosen by APCo.  This build construction started in December of 2020 and was completed in September of 2023, enabling service to over 2,000 homes with fiber connectivity.  GigaBeam also constructed fixed wireless sites feeding off of the fiber network to connect a total of approximately 3,100 total homes to broadband connectivity.

General service areas for fiber connectivity are shown below.


Wireless Coverage

We’ve built a hybrid fixed wireless/fiber network in Grayson County.  Below is the wireless coverage currently being activated.  The Fiber network will be “feeding” the wireless network for connectivity. 


  1. Phase 2:  Fiber Expansion
GigaBeam is now working on expansion of the fiber network.  Utilizing the LECAP state project and once available, BEAD funding, GigaBeam intends to expand fiber coverage to most of the unserved areas of the County.


Project FAQ

Is the Utility Leverage / 2019 VATI project a universal coverage project?  No, The project does not cover every location in Grayson County.  Areas in the eastern part of the county were challenged by the local cable company and had to be withdrawn from the grant.  Virginia awarded approximately $18.3 million statewide in grants in the 2020 VATI cycle, making a county wide project not fundable at the time.  With only approximately $2 million in grant funds, this project was never intended to be a universal coverage project for the entire County.  There were estimated to be around 6,000 homes without broadband in Grayson in 2019.  This project provides service to over 3,100 of those locations and sets up the core network to expand coverage to the remaining unserved locations as more funding becomes available. 

My power bill went up because of this project, is that money going to GigaBeam?  No,  The utility leverage program allows utilities to recover the cost to construct a “smart grid” infrastructure network for utility use only.  The increase was approved by the SCC.  Residential customers using 1,000 kWh per month see an increase of $0.22/month or $2.64 / year.  This program allows the utility to overbuild the network and lease the additional capacity to an ISP to provide broadband services.  GigaBeam pays a lease fee to Appalachian Power to utilize the network which in turn offsets the total cost of the build to rate payers.  

Are there plans to include locations not in the project scope?  Yes, once grant obligations are met, additional locations will be analyzed for expansion depending on funding availability (publicly and privately) and feasibility.  We are currently designing and getting ready to install smaller expansion circuits on the core network.  Once BEAD funding is available, GigaBeam intends to build larger expansion circuits throughout the unserved areas of the County.

My location isn’t in a fiber service area, will I still get service?  It is our intention to connect as many locations as possible in the project service areas.  Fixed wireless is being deployed to cover the bulk of the non fiber areas.  However, some locations will not be able to receive a wireless signal due to foliage blockage and terrain issues.  GigaBeam will continue to add coverage throughout the county even after the grant projects are completed including fiber and fixed wireless expansion.

How does fixed wireless compare to fiber?  GigaBeam is deploying the latest generation fixed wireless equipment which compliments fiber deployment quite well.  Speed and performance is excellent with our design of short range deployment being fed directly by the fiber optic network.  

I’ve heard that Facebook/Meta is involved, are you selling my data?  NO.  Meta did partner (indirectly) with the project offering engineering assistance for the project and have done so in other areas of the country.  Meta was introduced to GigaBeam by the State of WV through their subsidiary, Middle Mile Infrastructure. Through MMI, they are building a multistate long haul fiber network to support their datacenters and infrastructure.  These paths connect to major data center hubs in multiple cities including  Columbus, OH, Ashburn, VA, and Atlanta, GA.  GigaBeam is looking to leasing DARK fiber to connect to OUR datacenters (There are no affiliations to our data centers and MMI’s).  Your data is secure and unavailable to MMI, Meta, or any other company.  Currently, GigaBeam is not utilizing MMI fiber and working with other partners for primary connectivity as originally planned.  MMI fiber adds redundancy to the network and we may utilize those paths in the future as our regional network continues to grow.   We take our customers privacy and security very seriously which is why we include in our GigaBeam Experience portfolio the necessary tools to easily manage and protect your home from hackers and data intrusions.  These value adds are not offered by any other ISP in the Grayson service area and we proudly include these features as well as many others bundled with access at less cost than the competitors unsecured internet only connections.  GigaBeam is completely local, we care about our area as we are from this area and strive to provide the best in service to all of our customers, which are our neighbors, family members, and friends.

How does the service compare to other providers like Starlink and US Cellular?

  • GigaBeam is faster with plans up to 1Gbps.  The network is also designed to expand speeds up to 10Gbps in the future. 
  • GigaBeam is about 1/2 the cost of Starlink.  Currently, per the Starlink website, Grayson county can get on average between 32 – 102Mbps download speeds and 9-20Mbps upload speeds for $120/month.  GigaBeam Standard 100Mbps x 100Mbps fiber is $59 or $75 with the GigaBeam Experience.
  • GigaBeam includes the GigaBeam Experience – enhanced wifi, protection for your devices and family members, parental controls, as well as GigaGeek support. Starlink does not offer customer service other than a online ticketing system and no enhanced services/protection.
  • GigaBeam is LOCAL and focused on our region and communities.  
  • Starlink and US Cellular speeds are not guaranteed and can vary significantly.
  • US Cellular has unlimited usage.  HOWEVER, once 300GB/month of usage is reached (almost all GigaBeam customers exceed this), speeds are reduced to only 1.5Mbps (FCC defined minimum speed to be classified as “broadband” is 25Mbps)  GigaBeam is unlimited with no restrictions or bandwidth reductions.

Signup Now!

With Phase 1 completed and plans for completing phase 2 in progress, anyone interested in service is encouraged to sign up immediately.  Demand will decide where we expand the network and in what order as we move forward.  There is no obligation to sign-up!  This will help us develop our deployment strategy and will also include you in a mailing list for updates on the project and service availability.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact us!