augusta free press news

Nelson gets $1.8M for broadband access

Edited by Chris Graham

Nelson County has been awarded $1,826,646 from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to expand broadband Internet service in rural areas of the county. The funding for the Nelson County Broadband Project was announced by Fifth District Congressman Tom Perriello on Thursday.

“These stimulus funds give a major boost to residents of Nelson County. Not only will schools, the Blue Ridge Medical Center, and a library benefit, but up to 1,500 households and 250 businesses will have access to more affordable broadband service. This is a critical investment to make our rural communities more competitive and enhance local education, health care, and job growth,” Perriello said.

The Nelson County Broadband Project plans to enhance and expand broadband internet services in unserved and underserved areas of rural Nelson County by deploying 31 miles of new fiber and four new wireless tower sites, directly connecting 13 community anchor institutions. The anchor institutions expected to receive direct connections to the new network are seven county government facilities, four K-12 schools, the Blue Ridge Medical Center, and one library.

The project plans to provide speeds from 10 Mbps up to 1 Gbps and spur more affordable broadband internet service for as many as 1,500 households, 250 businesses, and an additional 30 community anchor institutions by allowing internet service providers to connect to the project’s open network.