Dominion Energy looking to expand broadband access in Rural Virginia
Dominion Energy Virginia is asking localities and internet service providers for information to facilitate greater broadband internet access for parts of the Commonwealth currently unserved by this critical resource.
The responses will help Dominion Energy advance a pilot program to help reach Virginia homes and businesses who don’t currently have access to broadband internet.
“We’re excited about how much this pilot could help rural Virginia communities,” said Ed Baine, senior vice president of Electric Distribution. “High-speed Internet access will support economic development and social equity while simultaneously promoting public health, public safety, and educational opportunities for our customers who currently don’t have broadband.”
Dominion Energy is looking into ways it can serve as a “middle mile” provider, filling a void that often exists between the largest data connections and homes and businesses. Dominion Energy’s telecommunications network may be able to bridge the gap by making its broadband capacity available to internet service providers in unserved communities, as allowed by 2019 legislation patroned by Del. Israel O’Quinn. An explanation of possible options to increase access is provided in the company’s Broadband Feasibility Report, which was a component of the Grid Transformation & Security Act of 2018.
Responses to the Request for Information by localities and ISPs should be submitted no later than Monday, Sept. 9, 2019.
The information gathered through the RFI may be used to inform future Request for Proposals and requests for approval before the Virginia State Corporation Commission.