Central Virginia Electric Cooperative, which serves about 3,500 customers in the western portion of Louisa County, will use a $28 million federal grant and loan to help provide high-speed internet service to its members.
The United States Department of Agriculture announced the funding, which is available through its ReConnect program. The program will award $550 million for broadband internet across the country this year.
“High-speed broadband internet connectivity is essential to economic development, quality of life and overall prosperity in any community,” said Beth Green, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development state director for Virginia. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA is committed to being a strong partner to help rural communities deploy this essential infrastructure, because when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”
Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger, who represents Louisa, said in a statement that she had pushed to include funding for ReConnect in final budget legislation last fall after the U.S. Senate removed it from the agriculture appropriations bill.
“Across Central Virginia’s rural communities, a lack of access to high-speed internet impedes the ability of our students, businesses, and farms to stay competitive in an increasingly digitally-based economy,” Spanberger said. “A budget should reflect our priorities — and this budget deal includes many wins I helped secure for Central Virginia.”
Spanberger and CVEC Executive Director Gary Wood appeared at the Louisa County Office Building this afternoon to speak about the funding announcement.