VIRGINIA – U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine announced $4,799,911 in federal funds to boost broadband access in Southwest Virginia and on the Eastern Shore Wednesday.
According to a release by the Senate, the funding was awarded through the United States Department of Agriculture’s Community Connect Grant Program. It will be used to construct and expand broadband access for rural and underserved communities.
The Scott County Telephone Cooperative will receive $3 million to construct a fiber-to-the-home broadband system, providing internet access to 554 households and 20 businesses in Scott County. A community center with free access to computers and WiFi will also be constructed.
Eastern Shore Communications will receive more than $1.7 million to construct a broadband fiber fixed-wireless high-speed network serving Chincoteague, Wallops Island, Accomac, Exmore, Cape Charles, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake and Norfolk. It will reach speeds of at least 25 megabits downstream and 3 megabits upstream.
“Broadband access is vital to the economic success of the Commonwealth and the nation,” the Senators said. “These federal funds will help Virginia connect to the digital age while expanding access to healthcare, educational, and job opportunities.”