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Broadband expansion for Rockbridge County moving forward

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A Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission project will bring broadband access to 492 unserved homes and businesses in Rockbridge County, as well as over 280 additional units.

In partnership with Rockbridge County and BARC Electric Cooperative, the $2.2 million grant award will be used to provide fiber infrastructure to help bridge the digital divide to four project areas located in Rockbridge County.

These areas include BARC’s Cornwall East-South River-Vesuvius electric circuit, a portion of the Big Hill circuit, the Effinger-Glasgow circuit, and the South Buffalo circuit.

The overall project will have a total cost of $4.4 million and will result in approximately 111 miles of gigabit last mile fiber infrastructure.

This project was funded and supported in collaboration with the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Telecommunication Initiative.

“In light of the health pandemic and new challenges rural communities face, the need for highspeed Internet is greater than ever,” said BARC CEO Mike Keyser. “We remain committed to one day serving every BARC member with world-class Internet and this collaborative effort with Rockbridge County and the CSPDC enables us to continue moving forward towards that goal. We appreciate the assistance of our partners and are very grateful to the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development for providing the grant funding assistance and working with us through the challenge process.”

“We are excited to partner with BARC on this important effort to further expand rural broadband in Rockbridge County,” Rockbridge County Board of Supervisors Chair Dan Lyons said. “We appreciate the diligent and tenacious efforts of our staff, BARC and the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission in bringing this project to fruition.”

The CSPDC will serve as the grant administrator for the project and work with Rockbridge County and BARC from construction to completion.