For Immediate Release: March 29, 2019
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Alena Yarmosky, Alena.Yarmosky@governor.virginia.gov | Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development: Amanda Love, Amanda.Love@dhcd.virginia.gov

Governor Northam Announces Over $4.9 Million in Virginia Telecommunication Initiative Grants

More than 15,000 homes, 300 businesses, and community anchors to gain broadband service

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced over $4.9 million in grants through the Virginia Telecommunication Initiative (VATI) for 11 projects within 12 counties throughout Virginia. The VATI program provides targeted funding to extend service to areas that are presently unserved by any broadband provider.

“In our 21st century economy, broadband connectivity is tied to every facet of our daily lives, from education to business to health care—that’s why making high-speed internet available to every Virginian, in every region of the Commonwealth is a top priority for my administration,” said Governor Northam. “This funding will help to close the digital divide in Virginia by putting in place the necessary infrastructure to expand affordable and reliable broadband service to currently unserved rural communities.”

Governor Northam is committed to ensuring universal access to broadband in the Commonwealth. The Governor’s broadband plan focuses on increasing access to these VATI grants which spur public-private partnerships to expand access. 

The VATI program is a state-funded program administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). 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. DHCD allocated grant funding to eligible applicants to provide “last-mile” services to unserved areas of Virginia. The state budget currently includes $19 million in Fiscal Year 2020 for the VATI program.

“Slow, sporadic or limited broadband services present significant challenges for businesses looking to locate in Virginia’s rural communities,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “Through these grants, we are making another step forward towards expanding access to quality broadband internet throughout the Commonwealth.”  

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

An estimated 15,000 households, and 300 businesses, and community anchors will have broadband service available due to these grant awards, along with the public-private partnership involved in each project. Thirty-one applications requesting more than $10.9 million in funding were received. This year’s funding leverages $9.2 million in local and private sector matching funds.

2019 Virginia Telecommunication Initiative Grants:

Organization

Project/Activity

Award

Communities Served

Albemarle Broadband Authority
Central Virginia Electric Cooperative

ABBA/CVEC VATI 2019

$301,748

Albemarle County

Amherst County
SCS Broadband

Amherst County/SCS Broadband VATI Application

$127,073

Amherst County

Bedford County
Blue Ridge Towers/Briscnet

Bedford Broadband Authority Wireless Project

$1,040,000

Bedford County

Botetourt County
Craig Botetourt Electric Cooperative

Botetourt Broadband 2019

$758,998

Botetourt County

Clarke County
Comcast

Comcast Clarke County White Post Broadband Project

$209,513

Clarke County

Floyd County
Citizens

Copper Hill Project

$348,018

Floyd County

Letter of Intent
Fluvanna County
Central Virginia Electric Cooperative

Fluvanna Broadband Expansion

 $641,967

 

 Fluvanna County

 

Giles County
Gigabeam

Western Giles County Fixed Wireless Coverage

$589,444

Giles County

Halifax County
SCS Broadband

Halifax County Broadband – SCS Broadband 2019

$231,108

Halifax County

Louisa County
SCS Broadband

AcelaNet, LLC/SCS VATI project

$233,905

Louisa County

Russell County Industrial Development Authority
iGo

Virginia Route 624 Broadband Initiative

$455,581

Russell County
Buchanan County

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