BEDFORD, Va. (WFXR) — On March 23rd, Bedford County held a ribbon-cutting ceremony, marking the beginning of construction to expand internet access across communities throughout the county.

Through a contract with Verizon, internet services will be extended to approximately 349 addresses in the Big Island and Wheats Valley areas. These communities are located in one of Bedford County’s broadband coverage gaps, which the county has been working hard to bring access to.

Supervisors made a proactive choice to finance the project directly with American Rescue Plan funds rather than applying for additional grants, which could have possibly delayed the project. This decision will provide residents with broadband access in the near future. Verizon has one year to complete this expansion project and broadband access is expected by spring 2024.

We are very appreciative of Verizon’s diligence in delivering quality service to our residents in this area,”

said Edgar Tuck, Chair of the Bedford County Board of Supervisors.

See if you qualify for the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program and the Verizon Forward Program, which provides free internet for customers, through their website. For more information about Bedford County’s broadband initiative, visit their website.