Broadband internet access headed to rural areas of central Virginia

Published: Jun. 27, 2021 at 7:25 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Broadband internet will soon be headed to everyone within nine counties across central Virginia thanks to a unique partnership between utility providers.

“This project is pretty remarkable and it intends to ensure that every location in nine counties has adequate access to internet, and it’ll be fiber connected on that gigabit speeds, world class service out in the rural areas of Central Virginia,” President and CEO of Firefly Broadband Gary Wood said.

Firefly will be teaming up with Dominion Energy and Rappahannock Electric Cooperative.

“We recognize how critical and vital broadband connectivity is to the prosperity of our communities and our member owners that live and work in those communities,” CEO of the Rappahannock Electric Co-Op John Hewa said.

The counties of Albemarle, Appomattox, Buckingham, Cumberland, Fluvanna, Goochland, Greene, Louisa, and Powhatan will be on the receiving end of the partnership.

“It also helps in that we can provide a more, a more continuous solution by each of us being involved in various elements coordinating together, bringing the capital resources or bringing the construction resources so that the network can be built more timely,” Hewa said.

Rural Broadband Program Manager for Dominion Energy, Ed Diggs, says this partnership is vital because of how the way service boundaries are shaped.

“Our service territories overlap significantly,” he said. “There remains a lot of unserved customers and cooperative members within these jurisdictions, so this is just a unique opportunity.”

While still in the early steps, people who don’t have broadband are encouraged to fill out a survey to better highlight what areas need to be served.

“The need for internet is a really important utility, and to be a part of the development of solution to that is very rewarding,” Wood said.

The project is still a few years away from completion but this partnership is starting the process of getting broadband to every home and business in those nine counties.

For a link to the survey click here.

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