RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Gov. Ralph Northam announced on Thursday that a $20.1 million award would be going towards improving broadband infrastructure across the Commonwealth. The latest round of funding from the Virginia Telecommunication Initiative (VATI) will be distributed to projects spanning 17 localities.
According to the governor’s office, the award will fund 11 projects and connect over 13,400 households, businesses and institutions to high-speed internet.
The state has been investing in broadband through VATI since 2018, with $71.3 million invested so far. Prior to this recent round of funding, the initiative helped connect 76,351 people to broadband service.
This is the second round of VATI funding this year. During the 2020 General Assembly, legislators voted to invest close to $50 million into the initiative and in 2021 they chose to invest the same amount for the upcoming fiscal year.
“Quality broadband service is key to growing our economy, and learning, competing, and succeeding in today’s digital world,” said Governor Northam. “This funding will have an enormous impact on thousands on unserved Virginians and bring us closer to our goal of every community in our Commonwealth having access to high-speed internet.”
There were 45 applications submitted for broadband infrastructure projects, so far 16 of those proposals have been approved. Five plans were announced in January and 11 were announced today.
Some nearby projects include a $1.5 million project in King and Queen County and a $567,000 project in Goochland County.
The full details of all 11 projects are listed below:
Mount Rogers Planning District Commission and Point Broadband
Mount Rogers Planning District Commission and Point Broadband will extend its broadband network in the counties of Smyth, Washington, and Wythe, and the town of Damascus. The new construction will bring broadband access to 5,301 serviceable units, including 110 businesses.
Mathews County and Atlantic Broadband
Mathews County and Atlantic Broadband will construct a regional fiber to the home network. The project will provide broadband access to 1,249 serviceable units, including 142 businesses throughout Caroline, Lancaster, Mathews, and Middlesex counties.
Albemarle County and CenturyLink
Albemarle County and CenturyLink will construct approximately 100 miles of fiber-optic cable. The project will 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
King and Queen County and RiverStreet will build upon the existing fiber to the home network in the County. The project will connect 524 serviceable units, including 12 businesses.
Augusta County and MGW/Lingo
Augusta County, through a partnership with MGW/Lingo, will construct a fiber to the home network to provide broadband access to 1,099 total locations, including 15 businesses in the McDowell and Deerfield areas of Augusta and Highland counties.
Franklin County and Briscnet
Franklin County and Briscnet will construct a fixed wireless network in multiple locations throughout the County. The project will provide broadband access to 1,996 serviceable units.
Montgomery County and Gigabeam
Montgomery County and Gigabeam will extend its broadband network. The new construction will 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
Goochland County and Port 80 Broadband will construct approximately 40 miles of fiber. The project will provide broadband access to 218 serviceable units, including 10 businesses in Crozier.
Gloucester County and Open Broadband
Gloucester County and Open Broadband will construct 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
The City of Chesapeake and Cox Cable will connect 69 serviceable units, including 16 businesses in the Land of Promise Road, John Etheridge Road, and Cedarville Road areas.
Halifax County and EMPOWER Broadband
Halifax County and EMPOWER Broadband will connect 25 serviceable units to a regional fiber network in Virgilina.