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Albemarle County, CenturyLink awarded grant for broadband expansion

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Albemarle County and CenturyLink have been awarded a Virginia Telecommunication Initiative grant to improve broadband infrastructure in locations around Albemarle County.

The VATi effort will provide connectivity to 1,675 locations with the construction of approximately 100 miles of fiber-optic cable.

“I am proud of the work of the Albemarle Broadband Authority to build partnerships to connect our community to high-quality and affordable internet. Broadband is an essential service – much like electricity and water,” Supervisor Liz Palmer said. “Albemarle County is grateful for the VATI funds that will extend broadband access in critical areas of need.”

The project will get underway in April, with new service activations expected beginning in the summer of 2022.

“Albemarle County continues to resource support for broadband expansion across our 726 square miles, and we know that this latest VATI project will reach more residents, but not all,” Supervisor Donna Price said. “The budget process underway will establish the Office of Broadband Access & Affordability and provide additional funding for infrastructure investments to continue our work to connect our community.”

The project will increase access for the Box Holly/Taylors Gap, Campbell/Cobham, Milton Hills, Old Garth Heights, Snow Hill Lane, Tilman Road/Meriweather Hill, Advance Mills/Fray Road, Gilbert Station Road, and Jones Mills Road areas of the county.

It will address needed upgrades to aging copper infrastructure and expand fiber to serve previously unserved areas.

“We appreciate the Albemarle Broadband Authority, the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development and Governor Northam for their commitment to the VATI grant program, which is a wonderful example of public-private partnerships that work for people, communities and their businesses,” said Derek Kelly, CenturyLink’s director of state regulatory and legislative affairs.

“Families and businesses have shifted to living more of life online. We know broadband brings many benefits to communities—this expansion will improve access to the online applications Virginians use every day.”

“I’m thankful for the efforts of the community members, staff, and members of the Board of Supervisors and Albemarle Broadband Authority that all contributed to the successful application for VATI 2021 funds, and to the Commonwealth of Virginia for its continued support of projects that bring us closer to achieving universal broadband access,” said Mike Culp, Director of Information Technology for Albemarle County.

Community members and businesses with no or limited broadband access can submit a broadband access report for their location to the Albemarle Broadband Authority in order to inform future expansion projects.

Access the Albemarle County Broadband Survey at broadbandsurvey.k12albemarle.org.


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