8/2/18 Sale Of BVU-OptiNet Broadband Network To Sunset Digital Completed

Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission
Deal Will Ensure Continued Operation and Expansion of Broadband Network

Bristol, VA – An agreement was reached by all parties today that will see Sunset Digital purchase Bristol Virginia Utilities (BVU) OptiNet broadband network. As an investor in the network, The Tobacco Commission will receive a return on that investment from the sales price as well as a commitment from Sunset to make thousands of home connections at the Commission’s direction.

The deal is designed to ensure continuous operation of the OptiNet network for existing customers which was a priority during negotiations. Sunset will also expand the network to new customers in the Tobacco Commission’s footprint.

Tobacco Commission Executive Director Evan Feinman, who negotiated the deal on behalf of the Tobacco Commission, said “The Commission is thrilled that, after years of effort, this critical network will be in great hands and growing again. We’re looking forward to working with Sunset and all of our local and regional partners to get thousands more Southwest Virginians online.”

Sunset Digital is a next-generation fiber-optic services company based in Duffield Virginia that provides broadband Internet, private data, IPTV, and Voice Service to residents, businesses, medical facilities, banks, and other Internet service providers. Sunset also has a branch office in Kingsport and Tazewell Tennessee.

Today, Sunset operates and continuously improves one of the most agile and capable fiber optic networks in the United States with more than 1000 miles of fiber optic cable. Through Sunset owned and leased tributary networks, as well as through partnerships with other networks, broadband connectivity options are available throughout Virginia and Northeast Tennessee to virtually anywhere in the world. These connections attract new businesses to the region and provide lower overall costs for the Internet bandwidth that the region so desperately needs. The acquisition of BVU Optinet will allow Sunset Digital to focus on further development of fiber optic services to homes and businesses in Southwest Virginia and beyond.

Co-Counder of Sunset Digital, Ryan Elswick stated, “Our goal is to make the transition as seamless as possible to our customers. They will still be receiving new services from the same skilled team of people they always have, and their bill will remain the same.” He continued, “The Sunset Digital team is very excited to finalize the acquisition of BVU OptiNet service network. This is not the final step for us, but the very first step in a plan for future growth and improved services to the area that we have been developing for several years now. We are looking forward to moving forward with growing a vibrant broadband network to service schools, government agencies, businesses, and residents across the region in the combined territory that will stretch from the Cumberland Plateau region to Northeast Tennessee. We’re excited to have the OptiNet staff and customers join the Sunset Digital family where they will continue to provide excellent service through a local company, with local people, providing local jobs. We look forward to continued growth and improved services for years to come.”

Cumberland Plateau Company (CPC) Chair, Roger Rife of Buchanan County stated, “Today, with the closing of the BVU/Sunset transaction, and with Sunset and ITC becoming CPC’s new partner in the CPC OptiNet, we are extremely excited about the next phase of growth for our system. We believe we now have partners who share our vision for growth of the network in our four Counties to include both business and residential expansion opportunities.”

The Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission has made large investments in expanding high speed broadband access in Southern and Southwest Virginia as part of our ongoing mission to develop a diverse economy in those regions. Increasingly companies looking to relocate or expand view high speed broadband as a necessity for doing business. By increasing the availability of broadband across the regions we serve the Tobacco Commission helps attract vital jobs and investment to the area.

Contact: Jordan Butler
Telephone: 804-786-7692
Cell: 757-692-0878
Email: jbutler@revitalizeva.org
Website: www.revitalizeva.org