Other Broadband Internet Resources
Broadband Citizen Advisory Committee
In October 2019, the Board of Supervisors created a Broadband Advisory Committee that includes citizens who possess applicable expertise in the appropriate fields (Information Technology; wired internet service provision; wireless internet service provision GIS mapping; and broadband infrastructure and tools). The Committee was charged with the following scope:
- Develop practical solutions for serving the unserved and underserved areas of the County and prioritize these solutions;
- Review existing broadband availability mapping and work with service providers to attempt to identify inaccuracies and recommend a method/methods to obtain information to correct the inaccuracies;
- Determine what infrastructure currently exists and how it can be leveraged to expand and improve service;
- Prepare final report and make presentation to the Board of Supervisors.
- Hanover Blueprint to Broadband Report (2020) (PDF)
Hanover County is prohibited by law from being an internet service provider, so the County must partner with an ISP to expand internet service. The County has two major internet service providers, Comcast and CenturyLink. Comcast has established broadband service in most of the County’s suburban area. Comcast continues to work with the community to expand their services. CenturyLink has established some broadband service to communities in the western part of the County. CenturyLink’s internet service is based on DSL technology, so it can vary depending on how close a consumer is to where the service hub is located. CenturyLink is upgrading their infrastructure to a fiber-based internet service. Service areas for these providers is documented at broadbandmap.fcc.gov.
Various other internet service providers are located in the County primarily using DSL, wireless, and satellite technology. Hanover continues to encourage other wired and wireless service providers to locate in the County.
Affordable Connectivity Program
The Federal Communication Commission announced the start of the Affordable Connectivity Program. As of January 1, 2022, eligible households are able to enroll in the Program to receive a monthly discount off the cost of broadband service from an approved provider (Comcast and CenturyLink are participating in the program). More information is available here.
The Affordable Connectivity Program is a benefit program that helps ensure that households can afford the broadband they need for work, school, healthcare and more. The benefit provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service for eligible low-income households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.
Comcast participates in the program and makes their Internet Essentials service for eligible low-income households and all Xfinity Internet and Xfinity Mobile plans available to program participants.
Hanover Internet Service
Hanover County comprises 471 square miles with 70% of the land area considered rural. Despite coverage maps indicating that virtually all of Hanover County has access to broadband (high-speed) internet, a large portion of the County does not have adequate internet service coverage. Hanover County understands that universal broadband internet access is essential for our community. It is essential to support business, education, public safety, and everyday life. As such, the Hanover Board of Supervisors has made this issue a priority. More information on high-speed internet in Hanover is available here.
Hanover County Digital Equity Program
Hanover County supports the concept of digital equity, which refers to whether people can access and effectively use the technology necessary to participate in modern society. Hanover County Schools have deployed devices to all teachers in support of on-line education. In addition, Schools have purchased and deployed mobile tablet devices to all students. They have also deployed MiFi devices to those students with the biggest need.
Hanover County is a member of the Pamunkey Regional Library system. The Library has a full digital literacy program that includes providing public wireless, mobile hotspots, and other mobile services (printing, etc.). Six library branches are located in the County each with adequate internet service (40 Mbps – 100 Mbps). The Library has distributed MiFi devices for specific citizens.
Hanover County has established public wireless internet access at public buildings. This program included placing wireless access points across the County with public access to internet services. Look for the Public WiFi signs at these locations: Poor Farm Park; Pole Green Park; Courthouse Park; Montpelier Community Center; and County Government Center (main front parking lot).