Breezeline, Shentel and Verizon won funding for two broadband projects apiece through the Virginia Telecommunications Initiative (VATI) yesterday. The funding will cover some of the costs to bring broadband to unserved and underserved areas, with all three providers covering the majority of deployment costs.
Breezeline, formerly known as Atlantic Broadband, was the biggest winner in this funding round and is set to receive $15.2 million.
Shentel will receive $6.3 million and Verizon will receive nearly $5 million.
Another big winner was a less familiar name. Riverstreet Networks won two awards totaling $11.7 million. In addition, a letter of intent of $8,013,600 was issued to the 2023 West Piedmont Planning District Commission West Universal Broadband Project for a partnership with Riverstreet Networks.
Other companies winning funding included Empower, FiberLync, Citizens Telephone Cooperative and All Points Broadband.
In total, $59.5 million was awarded. The funding will make service available to more than 29,400 homes, businesses and community anchor institutions
All the companies will contribute funding toward the projects.
“In today’s increasingly digital world, having access to high-speed broadband is no longer a luxury, it is necessary in order to fully participate in daily life,” said Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin in a press release about the Virginia broadband awards.
“These investments will allow us to reach underserved communities, grow Virginia’s economy and close the digital divide across the Commonwealth.”
According to the release, this year’s VATI funding leverages more than $118.6 million in local and private sector matching funds.
“In this application year, VATI received 35 applications requesting more than $300 million in funding,” the release notes. “Since 2017, Virginia has invested more than $798.7 million to connect over 358,000 homes, businesses and community anchors within 84 localities.”
Additional information about the awards announced yesterday, including geographic areas and the number of locations to be served by each provider, can be found at this link.
Updated with information about Riverstreet Networks that was not initially included on the VATI site