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:
|Albemarle Broadband Authority||ABBA Century Link VATI 2020||$291,300|
|Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission||Virginia Telecommunications Initiative 2020||$2,202,000|
|Charles City County||Virginia Telecommunications Initiative 2020||$3,966,012|
|Cumberland Plateau Planning District Commission||CPC Broadband Expansion – Council to Davenport||$226,560|
|Franklin County||Franklin County Broadband Authority||$2,383,039|
|Grayson County||Connect Grayson||$1,838,255|
|Halifax County||Halifax County MEC/EMPOWER VATI||$710,514|
|King and Queen County||King and Queen County||$2,020,291|
|LENOWISCO Planning District Commission||LENOWISCO Regional Broadband Expansion Phase I||$790,464|
|Patrick County||Patrick County Broadband Expansion||$798,283|
|Stafford County||Stafford County – KGI VATI 2020||$874,478|
|Surry County||Prince 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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