Business / Technology / Virginia

McAuliffe announces nearly $945,000 in Virginia telecommunication grants

Five localities receive funding to extend broadband access with new initiative

RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced nearly $945,000 in grants through the Virginia Telecommunication Initiative (VATI) for Albemarle, Augusta, Bland, Gloucester and Greensville counties. The VATI program provides funding for communities partnering with private sector providers to extend broadband access to unserved areas of the Commonwealth.

“Broadband access has become an essential tool for localities to attract new businesses and thrive, as well as support the diverse needs of their schools and students,” said Governor McAuliffe. “I’m pleased to announce the first round of grants from the Virginia Telecommunication Initiative, helping localities provide last-mile services and leverage their telecommunications infrastructure to build a new Virginia economy. I hope these funds will allow the recipients to utilize these resources for the betterment of their citizens, increasing broadband access and spurring job creation opportunities.”

“Today’s announcement is an excellent example of the great work that can be realized by bringing together local governments and private service providers to ensure quick, reliable and affordable internet access to unserved areas of the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore. “I congratulate these localities on receiving the grants to strengthen their broadband efforts.”

The VATI program is a state-funded program administered by the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). The goal of VATI is to create strong, competitive communities throughout the Commonwealth by preparing those communities to build, utilize, and capitalize on telecommunications infrastructure. Consistent with the enabling legislation, DHCD will award nearly $1 million annually to eligible applicants to provide “last-mile” services to unserved areas of Virginia. This is the first grant announcement from this new program.

Projects were selected through a competitive process evaluating each project for a demonstrated need and benefit for the community, applicant readiness and capacity, and the cost and leverage of the proposed project. The level of funding awarded is based on the infrastructure needs in the project areas. Seventeen applications totaling more than $3.7 million in funding were received.

The following projects were awarded funding through the 2017 Virginia Telecommunication Initiative program.

2017 Virginia Telecommunication Initiative Grants:

Applicant Co-Applicant Project Name Award
Albemarle County CenturyLink Albemarle Century Link VATI Project $118,400
Augusta County Lingo Networks Augusta County VATI $278,880
Bland County Bland County Wireless (Hollybrook Expansion) $192,141
Gloucester County Cox Communications Gloucester County VATI Project $193.094
Greensville County Telpage Greensville County Telecommunications Project $162,334
TOTAL $944,849