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Sunset Digital projects 150 new jobs with SW Va. broadband internet expansion

Nick Shepherd • Mar 14, 2017 at 5:30 PM

DUFFIELD -- Sunset Digital Communications projected the creation of 150 new jobs and the expansion of broadband internet to seven new counties in Southwest Virginia once the company's deal to purchase the internet division Bristol Virginia Utilities is complete.

The next generation fiber-optic service based in Duffield approached BVU in February 2016 about purchasing the OptiNet Division. The public utility company agreed and the BVU Board of Directors approved the sale. Final approval of the sale is still pending.

On Monday, Sunset Digital sent out a press release about initial planning for the implementation of the deployment of broadband once the sale is complete and the number of jobs that would be created in the region.

“We project that the combined company will have more than 150 employees over the next five years and many of those employees will be based somewhere in the Cumberland Plateau,” said Sunset Digital CEO Paul Elswick in the release. “We are pleased with the initial interest we have received from people seeking the employment opportunities, and we have set up a website for those that wish to go ahead and apply.”

In the release, Elswick stated that once the sale was final, Sunset would begin expanding their fiber network to business and residential customers in Russell, Dickenson, Buchanan, Tazewell, Smyth, Bland and Wythe counties.

The expansion could become a vital economic engine for the region as the new expansion would be combined with expansions in Lee, Wise and Washington counties. The release said the expansion would allow Southwest Virginia to compete with broadband in Northern Virginia.

But Elswick said the deal must be completed in order to get started.

“Both The U.S. Economic Development Administration and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration as well as the Virginia Tobacco Commission have approved the sale. Everyone is waiting on the Cumberland Plateau,” Elswick said .

For more information about Sunset Digital Communications, Sunset employment opportunities, and to show your interest in broadband coming to your area, go to www.sunset-fiber.com/optinet.

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