Augusta County celebrates Northam’s broadband expansion announcement
HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - The hunt for universal broadband in Augusta County might come to an end soon.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced expanded funding for internet acquisition throughout the Commonwealth.
The governor said over $700 million will go toward expanding broadband access across the Commonwealth. The grant is expected to provide high-speed internet access to homes that aren’t currently able to connect.
For Augusta County, the project will require about $63 million, officials say. All Points Broadband will provide over half of that, the Virginia Telecommunications Initiative will provide almost 30%, which leaves about 13% for county contribution. That will be pulled from American Rescue Plan Act funds, officials add.
“It’s exciting now to have the general assembly and the governor’s office recognize this important need and be able to dedicate funds where the counties can spend this money on the infrastructure, broadband being the major one,” said Pam Carter, Representative for the Pastures District on the Augusta County Board of Supervisors.
When Carter ran for election and reelection in 2017 and 2021 respectively, broadband access was a big part of her platform. With additional funding, Carter said it will be much easier to get internet access for the whole county.
“It’s just exciting to think about how many homes and students and business this is going to affect and boost them up to more equality with the rest of the nation,” she said.
Carter said the provider, All Points Broadband, brought the proposal to the Board of Supervisors meeting. The grant says the internet attained must be affordable.
“The provider, All Points, said in our board of supervisors meeting that it will be universal. We have that on tape, so I’m going to hold their feet to the fire to provide that service to everybody,” Carter said.
It’s estimated 37,000 homes and businesses will be connected to fiber internet in Augusta, Rockingham, Page, Clarke, Fauquier, Rappahannock and Warren Counties.
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