FCC announces nearly $37M in funding for broadband in Virginia

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NELSON Co., Va. (WDBJ7) — This week, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) announced nearly $37 million in funding over the next decade to expand broadband to nearly 14,000 unserved rural Virginia homes and businesses.

Image courtesy MGN Online

"It's a lot," said Melissa Gay.

Gay is with Central Virginia Services.

It's a wholly owned subsidiary of Central Virginia Electric Cooperative (CVEC).

The company will be providing services to parts of 11 of the 14 counties they serve under their brand Firefly Fiber Broadband.

"Firefly will lease the fiber from the cooperative and offer up to 1 gigabit speeds for our members," Gay said.

The funding is part of the Connect America Fund Phase II auction.

The FCC says providers will begin receiving funding this month.

"In-home phone service will come across these same lines," explained Galen Creekmore with CVEC.

The fiber optic lines will be added to existing power lines offering service to more than 7,000 homes and businesses in Amherst, Appomattox and Nelson counties.

The FCC funding also includes Augusta, Bath, Botetourt and Rockingham, along with other counties in the state.

"Gigabit is a service you would expect in New York City, Washington D.C., Los Angeles; and to think folks right here in Nelson County and Amherst will be sitting in their living rooms on their tablets or laptops with gigabit service is almost unimaginable," Gay said.

Central Virginia Services is one of five companies to receive the funding.