by Tyler Arnold
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is directing $20.1 million in grants for 11 projects in the commonwealth to strengthen broadband infrastructure, his office announced Thursday.
The projects are designed to increase broadband connectivity throughout 17 localities. The projects will connect more than 13,400 establishments, which will include households, businesses and anchor institutions and is leveraging $18.8 million in private and local investments.
“Quality broadband service is key to growing our economy, and learning, competing, and succeeding in today’s digital world,” Northam said in a statement. “This funding will have an enormous impact on thousands on unserved Virginians and bring us closer to our goal of every community in our Commonwealth having access to high-speed internet.”
Funding will be awarded through Virginia Telecommunication Initiative grants, which is administered by the Department of Housing and Community Development. They were awarded through a competitive process.
This is the second round of funding for the program this year, which has provided nearly $50 million in grants for 28 localities to date.
“With the historic investment made by Governor Northam and the General Assembly, the Commonwealth is showing its commitment to broadband expansion for areas in need,” Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball said in a statement. “This round of grants will support the vital infrastructure needed for high-speed internet, ensuring more communities have access to the necessities of modern life.”
The largest grant will be awarded to the Mount Rogers Planning District Commission and Point Broadband, which is receiving nearly $7.9 million. The second largest grant will be awarded to Mathews County and Atlantic Broadband, which is receiving more than $4.2 million.
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Tyler Arnold reports on Virginia and West Virginia for The Center Square. He previously worked for the Cause of Action Institute and has been published in Business Insider, USA TODAY College, National Review Online and the Washington Free Beacon.