Bristol, VA city council approves sale of BVU’s OptiNet to Sunset Digital Communications

BRISTOL, VA (WJHL)- Bristol, Virginia’s city leaders have approved a multi-million dollar sale for the control of the internet and cable services of thousand here in our region.

City council members voted 4 to 1 Tuesday night to approve the sale of BVU’s OptiNet services to Sunset Digital Communications.

After Tuesday night, BVU board members, and now Bristol, Virginia City Council members have approved the sale, but we were told there’s still a long way to go.

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Current BVU CEO Don Bowman said it could take anywhere from 120 to 150 days to get every approval they need from agencies which gave funding to BVU to build the infrastructure.

Over the weekend we spoke to Mayor Archie Hubbard who said he thinks the contract with sunset is the best way to go because is will protect jobs in the area.

We asked bowman what this will mean for current jobs at OptiNet.

“In general they are committed to doing at least 75 of our 83 employees that are primarily focused on OptiNet and their overall intention is to grow by up to 10,000 additional customers,” Bowman said.

On Tuesday night Jim Steele was the only council member that didn’t give his approval for the sale of OptiNet.

Steele explained he wanted the ongoing corruption investigation at Bristol Virginia Utilities to be in their rear view mirror before moving forward with a multi million dollar sale like this one.

“All the corruption should be out of the way and I think the federal bureau should give permission themselves to say that we are finished and lets go ahead and say that we are done and off the books, and they should turn around and then talk to someone about selling OptiNet,” Steele said.

When we asked representatives from Sunset Digital Communications for a comment Tuesday evening they declined.

Bowman said optimistically they would like to have the 50 million dollar sale with sunset digital communications finalized by June.

Copyright 2016 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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