ROCKY MOUNT, Va. (WFXR) – Virginia’s Telecommunication Grant Initiative (VATI) program has awarded the Franklin County Broadband Authority with funding for two new projects to bring broadband to much of the remaining rural section of Franklin County that is currently unserved by broadband.

Last month, the County received notice that it was awarded $15.7 million in funding through the program which is administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).

VATI prepares communities to build, utilize and capitalize on telecommunications infrastructure with the goal of creating strong, competitive communities.

Franklin County officials plan to invest up to $7.7 million of funds received from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) into these projects over the next two to three years.

An additional investment of over $23 million will come from private partners and other grant funding.

One project involves an ongoing partnership with Shentel by creating a new fiber network and adding an additional 3,500 premises to their current coverage area.

Another project with River Street Networks will provide high-speed broadband services to over 2,000 homes and businesses in some of the hardest-to-reach areas in the eastern and southwestern part of Franklin County including in the Endicott/Henry and Sago/Snow Creek areas.

The Franklin County Broadband Authority also announced a new partnership at its meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 18.

A new fixed wireless system that started operations in 2021 by Briscnet will now be run by Seiontech, a Lynchburg telecommunications company that is a leading provider of high-speed internet, fiber-to-the-home, voice over IP and video services in Central Virginia.

Seiontech will begin to take over the operation of the system that is currently operating in multiple locations across Franklin County.

Additional service will soon be provided in the Callaway, Fork Mountain, Henry, Westlake and Wirtz areas.

Citizens interested in connecting to this fixed wireless service should contact Seiontec by clicking here for pricing and availability information.