augusta free press news

All Points Broadband receives $95M grant for fiber-to-the-home initiative

cloud computing
(© peshkov – stock.adobe.com)

All Points Broadband has received a grant award of $95.3 million through the Virginia Telecommunication Initiative program.

This grant will enable the construction of a regional fiber-to-the-home broadband network to bring internet access to approximately 40,000 unserved locations across the eight-county regional partnership.  The regional project was highlighted in an event featuring Gov. Ralph Northam.

The VATI grant will be leveraged with a combined $59.3 million in matching funds from participating counties, which will be sourced primarily from the local share of American Rescue Plan Act infrastructure funding.

“Today is a historic day for Virginia and all of our partner counties,” said Jimmy Carr, CEO of All Points, which is partnering on the project with the Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission and the Counties of Augusta, Clarke, Fauquier, Frederick, Page, Rappahannock, Rockingham and Warren.  “Earlier this year, we established a unique partnership among All Points, Dominion Energy Virginia, Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative, Rappahannock Electric Cooperative, and these eight counties to seize this once-in-a-generation opportunity to fully and finally bridge the digital divide with a project that will extend an all-fiber broadband network to all remaining unserved locations in each county.”  In addition to the eight-county regional project, all of All Points’ seven other VATI applications were awarded funding.  These projects represent a combined $276 million in total state and local funding commitments, and another $266 million in private investment to extend fiber optic broadband to approximately 71,000 unserved locations.

“We are thankful that NSVRC could serve as the conduit for these counties and the Commonwealth to make such a historic investment aimed at providing rural Virginians the same level of access to telehealth, distance education and telework opportunities as their urban neighbors,” said Brandon Davis, NSVRC executive director.

“In a world where broadband access is more critical than ever, today’s announcements are an exciting step forward in the process of making internet access a reality for all Virginians,” said Ed Baine, president of Dominion Energy Virginia. “Partnerships like this one in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley show that when we work together, we can make a real impact, and we’re proud to work with our partners to bring this service to the communities we serve.” Dominion Energy will support the extension of broadband to unserved areas by deploying middle-mile fiber that All Points will use to connect end-customers to the Internet.

“I am excited to see us gain efficiencies and security in our electric distribution system and business operations while concurrently helping our members and communities through being part of the rural broadband solution,” says Greg Rogers, SVEC’s president and CEO. “We’re providing an option for internet service providers to bring broadband to rural areas, and that’s a major milestone for us and our members.”

“At Rappahannock Electric Cooperative, our goal has always been to be part of the solution to enable and facilitate broadband to the households and businesses we serve,” said John Hewa, president and CEO of Rappahannock Electric Cooperative. “Being able to partner on this endeavor with the counties and All Points Broadband is a major accomplishment allowing each of us to further the Commonwealth’s goals of making broadband access available to everyone.”

“Rockingham County is excited about the opportunity to partner with the Commonwealth of Virginia, other Valley counties, Dominion, SVEC, and All Points to provide broadband service to those residents currently unserved in Rockingham County,” said Stephen King, Rockingham County administrator.

“Fauquier County is very excited for this VATI grant announcement, as well as our partnership with All Points and the electrical utilities. This funding is the most comprehensive opportunity to provide universal wired broadband to all of the citizens of our County,” said Rick Gerhardt, Cedar Run District Supervisor, Fauquier County. “This is not only a tremendous need for our citizens today, but a long-term investment in the future of the County.”

“On behalf of the Frederick County Board of Supervisors, I would like to express our gratitude for being included in this unprecedented initiative and being able to tell our citizens that rural broadband is on the way,” said Charles DeHaven, Jr., chairman, Frederick County Board of Supervisors. “Connectivity is no longer optional; it is a necessity in the world we live in and this project will help enrich the lives of people in Frederick County today and in the future. We look forward to working with All Points Broadband to bring this project to our community.”

“Internet service providers have told us for years that due to our low residential density universal broadband access was not commercially viable in Rappahannock County,” said Debbie Donehey, chair, Rappahannock County Board of Supervisors and Broadband Authority. “Now, with the federal ARPA investment passed through the VATI program, we are poised to deliver the gold standard of fiber to the home to our currently unserved households and businesses; a reality that only a short time ago was unfathomable.”

“Page County is excited about the opportunity to provide reliable, high-speed internet throughout the County. We are eager to provide this service to the citizens and businesses and appreciate the award to make this project possible,” said Amity Moler, Page County administrator.

“The grant funding announced today represents a once-in-a-lifetime investment for Clarke County. This project will close the digital divide much like the electrification efforts of the early 1930’s closed the rural electric divide. We thank the Governor and his staff, All Points Broadband, and Rappahannock Electric Cooperative for their work on this project,” said David Weiss, Chair, Clarke County Board of Supervisors.

“We are eager to see broadband initiatives progress in rural areas. Such enterprises will benefit the citizens that have so enthusiastically advocated for service,” said Pam Carter, Augusta County supervisor. “Fulfillment of initiatives will culminate many years of work in the county.”

“Broadband extension into rural areas of Warren County has been a priority of the Board of Supervisors for several years. Warren County is grateful to Gov. Northam and the General Assembly for directing funds to broadband projects,” said Cheryl Cullers, chair, Warren County Supervisors. “We appreciate All Points Broadband and the Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission including Warren County in this regional project. We look forward to working with Rappahannock Electric Cooperative, Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative and All Points Broadband during implementation and construction.”

An updated deployment timeframe for each of All Points’ projects funded today will be announced in early 2022. Residents should visit fiber.allpointsbroadband.com to register their location and to sign up to receive more information about broadband deployment projects in their area.


augusta free press
augusta free press