NELSON COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — On Thursday, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine announced $14,123,917 in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to provide broadband service to people in central Virginia through the ReConnect Program.
According to officials, the funding will be awarded to Central Virginia Services, Inc. in Arrington to install a fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network, which will connect 13,886 people; 4,139 households; 193 businesses; and 65 farms spread over 65 square miles to high-speed broadband internet.
In addition, the funding will benefit 37 educational facilities, three health care facilities, and 14 essential community facilities.
“Broadband isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity, but many Virginians still don’t have reliable access to internet,” the senators said. “That’s why we’re glad to see these federal dollars go toward connecting people across Virginia, which will improve access to job opportunities and educational resources and help small businesses grow.”
Warner and Kaine have been strong supporters of expanding broadband access in Virginia in past years.
Earlier this week, the senators voted to pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, a comprehensive infrastructure package that delivers wins to Virginia communities, including at least $100 million to expand broadband across the Commonwealth.
Under the bill, 23 percent of people in Virginia will be eligible for the Affordability Connectivity Benefit, which will help low-income families afford internet access and lower their bills. The legislation also provides more than $44 billion in funding for broadband expansion across the nation, including an additional $2 billion to the ReConnect program and $42.45 billion in state grants.
The legislation is now heading to the U.S. House of Representatives for consideration.
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