CBS19: Virginia on track to achieving universal Internet access

CBS19, CARLY HAYNES

High-speed Internet is on its way to reaching every corner of the Commonwealth.

At a press conference Monday morning, Governor Ralph Northam announced Virginia will be allocating more than $722 million to support 35 different broadband projects across the state.

“We have closed more than 90 percent of the digital divide. We have made sure that every Virginian will have broadband access by 2024,” Northam said.

Within that funding, more than $79 million will be going to a Firefly Broadband Internet project in Central Virginia, which Northam said was one of Virginia’s largest broadband projects.

“The grant announced today will bring universal service at gigabyte speed, and a reliable and affordable Internet package, everywhere that’s unserved in 13 counties,” said Gary Wood, the president and CEO of Firefly Fiber Broadband.

Virginia is now on track to be one of the first states to achieve universal access to the Internet.

The state’s funding comes from the Virginia Telecommunication Initiative and the federal American Rescue Plan.

“We are meeting the challenges of today by really planning for the future, and I’m so excited about what this means for our community,” said Representative Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-7th), who has made broadband a priority in her platform.

The project in Central Virginia will provide fiber broadband to more than 36,000 unserved homes and businesses.

Below is a list of all of the projects getting funding:

Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission and All Points Broadband

$95,303,000.00          Award

$190,759,621.00        Leveraged 

The project will build fiber broadband to 37,357 unserved locations and achieve universal coverage in Augusta, Clarke, Fauquier, Frederick, Page, Rappahannock, Rockingham, and Warren Counties. 

West Piedmont Planning District Commission and RiverStreet Networks

$87,003,888.00         Award

$65,421,347.00          Leveraged 

The project will build fiber broadband to 24,641 unserved locations and achieve universal coverage in Amelia, Bedford, Campbell, Charlotte, Nottoway, and Pittsylvania Counties when combined with other projects.  

Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission and Firefly

$79,027,930.00          Award

$208,969,670.00         Leveraged 

The project will build fiber broadband to 36,283 unserved locations and achieve universal coverage in Albemarle, Amherst, Appomattox, Buckingham, Campbell, Cumberland, Fluvanna, Goochland, Greene, Louisa, Madison, Nelson, and Powhatan Counties when combined with other projects. The project was supported by CSX through the Commonwealth Connect Fund.  

Southside Planning District Commission and EMPOWER Broadband

$69,431,635.00          Award

$84,677,555.00         Leveraged 

The project will build fiber broadband to 11,527 unserved locations and achieve universal coverage in Brunswick, Charlotte, Halifax, and Mecklenburg Counties when combined with other projects.  

New River Valley Regional Commission and Gigabeam and All Points Broadband

$68,355,355.00         Award

$67,370,008.00         Leveraged 

The project will build fiber broadband to 19,966 unserved locations and achieve universal coverage in Bland, Montgomery, and Pulaski Counties.  

Mount Rogers Planning District Commission and Point Broadband

$65,883,228.00         Award

$33,052,600.00         Leveraged 

The project will build fiber broadband to 27,450 unserved locations and achieve universal coverage in Smyth, Washington, and Wythe Counties.  

West Piedmont Planning District Commission and RiverStreet Networks

$33,571,073              Award

$61,794,113              Leveraged 

The project will build fiber broadband to 10,056 unserved locations and achieve universal coverage in Franklin, Henry, and Patrick Counties when combined with other projects.  

Cumberland Plateau Planning District Commission and Point Broadband

$23,478,429.00         Award

$6,459,000.00           Leveraged 

The project will build fiber broadband to 5,828 unserved locations and achieve universal coverage in Buchanan, Dickenson, Russell, and Tazewell Counties.  

LENOWISCO Planning District Commission and Scott County Telephone Cooperative

$22,190,500.00         Award

$6,354,500.00           Leveraged 

The project will build fiber broadband to 10,982 unserved locations and achieve universal coverage in Lee, Wise, and Scott Counties.  

Hampton Roads Planning District Commission and Charter Communications

$21,120,053.50         Award

$13,839,522,50         Leveraged 

The project will build fiber broadband to 12,223 unserved locations and achieve universal coverage in the City of Suffolk, Isle of Wight, and Southampton Counties. The project was supported by Primis Bank through the Commonwealth Connect Fund.  

Loudoun County and All Points Broadband

$17,524,000.00         Award

$42,376,126.00         Leveraged 

The project will build fiber broadband to 8,629 unserved locations and achieve universal coverage in Loudoun County. 

Commonwealth Regional Council and Kinex 

$15,000,000.00         Award

$12,450,992.00          Leveraged 

The project will build fiber broadband to 11,397 unserved locations and achieve universal coverage in Cumberland, Lunenburg, and Prince Edward Counties when combined with other projects.  

Hanover County and All Points Broadband

$13,970,000.00         Award

$41,469,332.00         Leveraged 

The project will build fiber broadband to 6,198 unserved locations and achieve universal coverage in Hanover County. The project was supported by Primis Bank through the Commonwealth Connect Fund.  

Eastern Shore of Virginia Broadband Authority

$12,310,777.25         Award

$3,314,865.50           Leveraged 

The project will build fiber broadband to 11,091 unserved locations and achieve universal coverage in Accomack and Northampton Counties. 

Shenandoah County and Shentel

$12,176,662.00         Award

$20,733,235.00         Leveraged 

The project will build fiber broadband to 4,139 unserved locations and achieve universal coverage in Shenandoah County.   

Franklin County and Shentel

$9,832,456.00           Award

$14,722,315.00         Leveraged 

The project will build fiber and wireless broadband to 3,508 unserved locations and achieve universal coverage in Franklin County when combined with other projects.  

Bedford County and Shentel

$8,642,313.00           Award

$17,546,515.00         Leveraged 

The project will build fiber and wireless broadband to 5,565 unserved locations and achieve universal coverage in Bedford County when combined with other projects.  

Bedford County and ZiTEL

$8,523,908.31           Award

$10,208,347.39         Leveraged 

The project will build fiber broadband to 4,114 unserved locations and achieve universal coverage in Bedford County when combined with other projects. 

Culpeper County and All Points Broadband

$8,600,000.00           Award

$21,914,455.00          Leveraged 

The project will build fiber broadband to 4,269 unserved locations and achieve universal coverage in Culpeper County.  

Bath-Highland Network Authority and MGW

$7,876,800.00           Award

$3,113,200.00           Leveraged 

The project will build fiber broadband to 2,470 unserved locations and achieve universal coverage in Bath and Highland Counties. 

Dinwiddie County and RURALBAND

$7,532,055.35           Award

$13,116,640.00         Leveraged 

The project will build fiber broadband to 1,622 unserved locations and achieve universal coverage in Dinwiddie County. The project was supported by the Cameron Foundation through the Commonwealth Connect Fund.  

Campbell County and Shentel

$5,443,000.00           Award

$10,107,617.00         Leveraged 

The project will build fiber and wireless broadband to 3,509 unserved locations and achieve universal coverage in Campbell County when combined with other projects. 

King William County and All Points Broadband

$5,400,000.00           Award

$12,330,631.00         Leveraged 

The project will build fiber broadband to 2,236 unserved locations and achieve universal coverage in King William County. The project was supported by Primis Bank through the Commonwealth Connect Fund.  

Sussex County and RURALBAND

$4,896,892.00           Award

$1,678,571.00           Leveraged 

The project will build fiber broadband to 2,267 unserved locations and achieve universal coverage in Sussex County. The project was supported by the Cameron Foundation through the Commonwealth Connect Fund.  

Stafford County and Comcast

$3,398,155.60           Award

$2,364,380.00           Leveraged 

The project will build fiber broadband to 634 unserved locations and achieve universal coverage in Stafford County.  

Northern Neck Planning District Commission and All Points Broadband

$3,190,500.00           Award

$20,477,692.25         Leveraged 

The project will build fiber broadband to 3,411 unserved locations and achieve universal coverage in King George, Lancaster, and Northumberland Counties. 

Botetourt County and Lumos

$3,084,796.00           Award

$4,824,937.00           Leveraged 

The project will build fiber broadband to 1,901 unserved locations and achieve universal coverage in Botetourt County.  

Middlesex County and All Points Broadband

$2,050,000.00           Award

$8,453,887.00           Leveraged 

The project will build fiber broadband to 970 unserved locations and achieve universal coverage in Middlesex County. 

Roanoke County and Craig Botetourt Electric Cooperative 

$1,581,584.00           Award

$1,646,138.00           Leveraged 

The project will build fiber broadband to 495 unserved locations and achieve universal coverage in Roanoke County when combined with other projects.  

Roanoke County and Cox Communications  

$1,535,264.00           Award

$1,597,927.00           Leveraged 

The project will build fiber broadband to 396 unserved locations and achieve universal coverage in Roanoke County when combined with other projects.  

Roanoke County and Shentel

$490,000.00              Award

$510,000.00              Leveraged 

The project will build fiber broadband to 213 unserved locations and achieve universal coverage in Roanoke County when combined with other projects.  

Roanoke County and B2X Online

$170,609.00              Award

$177,572.00              Leveraged 

The project will build a wireless broadband network to connect 290 locations and achieve universal coverage in Roanoke County when combined with other projects.  

West Piedmont Planning District Commission and Charter Communications

$1,415,290.00           Award

$2,124,671.00           Leveraged 

The project will build fiber broadband to 690 unserved locations and achieve universal coverage in Patrick County when combined with other projects.  

Floyd County and Citizens

$1,310,267.00           Award

$1,111,725.00           Leveraged 

The project will build fiber broadband to 723 unserved locations and achieve universal coverage in Floyd County. 

City of Chesapeake and Cox Communications

$580,435.00              Award

$434,559.00              Leveraged 

The project will build fiber broadband to 279 unserved locations and achieve universal coverage in the City of Chesapeake. 

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