Northam announces broadband expansion connecting more than 36,200 homes, businesses, and groups

Virginia

CHARLES CITY, Va. (WAVY) — Gov. Ralph Northam announced on Wednesday, that more than $18.3 million in grants through the Virginia Telecommunication Initiative (VATI) will support 12 projects across Virginia.

Surry County will receive nearly $2.23 million for the Prince George Electric Cooperative Project.

All of the projects amount to more than $35 million in local and private matching funds and will connect approximately 36,000 households, including thousands of businesses and community anchor institutions.

The VATI program provides targeted funding to extend service to areas that are presently unserved by any broadband provider.

The governor announced the initiative at the Charles City branch of the Heritage Public Library, where he presented local officials with a check for one of the awarded projects.

“Broadband is a necessity for communities to attract business, for students to use educational resources, and for Virginians to receive healthcare through telemedicine,” said Governor Northam.

Northam’s proposed budget adds an additional $16 million a year on top of the $19 million allocated annually last year, bringing the total investment to $35 million each year to further expand broadband in the Commonwealth.

“My administration is committed to expanding broadband access to every part of Virginia so that all of our citizens have access to the opportunities that connectivity make possible,” the governor said.

The goal of VATI is to create strong, competitive communities throughout the Commonwealth by preparing those communities to build, utilize and capitalize on telecommunications infrastructure.

The following projects were selected through a competitive process evaluating each project for demonstrated need and benefit for the community, applicant readiness and capacity, and the cost and leverage of the proposed project.

Virginia Telecommunication Initiative Grants for 2020:

Locality/OrganizationProject NameAward
Albemarle Broadband AuthorityABBA Century Link VATI 2020$291,300
Central Shenandoah Planning District CommissionVirginia Telecommunications Initiative 2020$2,202,000
Charles City CountyVirginia Telecommunications Initiative 2020$3,966,012
Cumberland Plateau Planning District CommissionCPC Broadband Expansion – Council to Davenport$226,560
Franklin CountyFranklin County Broadband Authority$2,383,039
Grayson CountyConnect Grayson$1,838,255
Halifax CountyHalifax County MEC/EMPOWER VATI$710,514
King and Queen CountyKing and Queen County$2,020,291
LENOWISCO Planning District CommissionLENOWISCO Regional Broadband Expansion Phase I$790,464
Patrick CountyPatrick County Broadband Expansion$798,283
Stafford CountyStafford County – KGI VATI 2020$874,478
Surry CountyPrince George Electric Cooperative$2,225,000

The level of funding awarded is based on the infrastructure needs in the project areas.

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