Virginia is investing $20.1 million to support 11 projects that will connect 13,400 households, businesses and anchor institutions to high speed Internet, according to the governor’s office. The grants came through the Virginia broadband program known as Virginia Telecommunications Initiative (VATI).
The awardees will leverage an additional $18.8 million in private and local investments impacting residents in 17 localities.
- Mount Rogers Planning District Commission and Point Broadband ($7,870,000): Extension of a broadband network in the counties of Smyth, Washington, and Wythe and the town of Damascus to bring broadband access to 5,301 serviceable units, including 110 businesses.
- Mathews County and Atlantic Broadband ($4,201,234): Construction of a regional fiber network to broadband access to 1,249 serviceable units, including 142 businesses throughout Caroline, Lancaster, Mathews, and Middlesex counties.
- Albemarle County and CenturyLink ($2,276,110): Construction of approximately 100 miles of fiber to provide broadband access to 1,675 locations, including 455 businesses within the Box Holly/Taylors Gap, Campbell/Cobham, Milton Ills, Old Garth Heights, Snow Hill Lane, Tilman Road/Meriweather Hill, Advance Mills/Fray Road, Gilbert Station Road and Jones Mills Road areas of the county.
- King and Queen County and RiverStreet ($1,482,678): Expansion of a fiber to the home network in to connect 524 serviceable units, including 12 businesses.
- Augusta County and MGW/Lingo ($1,270,413): Construction by Augusta County and MGW/Lingo, of a FTTH network to provide broadband access to 1,099 locations, including 15 businesses in the McDowell and Deerfield areas of Augusta and Highland counties.
- Franklin County and Briscnet ($1,107,700): Construction of a fixed wireless network in multiple locations throughout the county to provide broadband access to 1,996 serviceable units.
- Montgomery County and Gigabeam ($919,569): Extension of a broadband network to bring fixed wireless broadband access to 1,292 serviceable units, including 44 businesses in Allegheny Springs, Elliston, Lafayette and Shawsville.
- Goochland County and Port 80 Internet Services LLC ($567,557.98): Construction of approximately 40 miles of fiber to will provide broadband access to 218 serviceable units, including 10 businesses in Crozier.
- Gloucester County and Open Broadband ($342,657): Construction of a fixed wireless network. The project will provide broadband access to 313 serviceable units, including 19 businesses in Gloucester and Mathews counties.
- City of Chesapeake and Cox Cable ($90,177): Connection of 69 serviceable units, including 16 businesses in the Land of Promise Road, John Etheridge Road, and Cedarville Road areas.
- Halifax County and EMPOWER Broadband ($65,776): Connection of connect 25 serviceable units to a regional fiber network in Virgilina.
This was the second VATI announcement during the 2021 program year. The total for the year is $49.8 million to 28 localities connecting more than 25,000 households. Since 2018, the Virginia broadband program has awarded more than $73.1 million and connected 76,351 residents.
“Quality broadband service is key to growing our economy, and learning, competing, and succeeding in today’s digital world,” Governor Ralph Northam said in a press release. “This funding will have an enormous impact on thousands of unserved Virginians and bring us closer to our goal of every community in our Commonwealth having access to high-speed internet.”
A report about state broadband programs from the Pew Charitable Trusts last year highlighted the VATI program.