Bristol is an independent city in Virginia, bounded by Washington County, Virginia, and Sullivan County, Tennessee.As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 17,367. It is the twin city of Bristol, Tennessee, just across the state line, which runs down the middle of its main street, State Street. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the city of Bristol, Virginia with Washington County for statistical purposes. Bristol is a principal city of Kingsport–Bristol–Bristol, TN-VA Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is a component of the Johnson City–Kingsport–Bristol, TN-VA Combined Statistical Area – commonly known as the "Tri-Cities" region.Originally named Goodson, it was renamed to Bristol (after Bristol, England) in 1890.
Despite its relatively small size, Bristol, Virginia boasts one of the most advanced broadband networks in the country. Bristol Virginia Utilities (BVU) started planning a fiber optic deployment in the city in the late 1990s. By the year 2001, BVU had been granted approval by the City Council of Bristol for a full deployment of a Fiber to the premises (FTTP or FTTU, fiber to the user). This project was to offer competition to local incumbents and provide broadband Internet, cable TV, and telephone service to the residents of Bristol. This deployment was one of the first of its kind in the United States and was widely watched by the telecommunications industry. A system known as Passive optical network (PON) was successfully deployed to over 6000 customers in a matter of 2 years.