Bristol, Virginia was one of the first communities in the United States to build a citywide Fiber-To-The-Home (FTTH) network that offered cable, telephone and high speed Internet. Securing the rights for Bristol to build its own network cost $2.5 million and years of legal proceedings, but the struggle has proved worthwhile for this community. A 2008 study found that OptiNet had resulted in almost $10 million of community savings since 2003. Self-provisioning, rather than leasing circuits, for the schools and local government saved $1 million alone.
OptiNet has been exceptionally popular, and service was expanded outside the city limits to nearby industrial parks and businesses. OptiNet is now a profitable entity, and serves nearly 12,000 subscribers. It recently rolled out new service packages, including a broadband tier offering downstream capacity at 1Gbps.
In 2007, BVU submitted a report to the state highlighting the job gains from its broadband investments. It traced over $50 million in new investment, generating 1,220 jobs in seven counties and $37 million in annual payrolls.