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"Connect Hanover" - Drive for Universal Broadband Coverage is a Go in Hanover County with receipt of $13.97 million State Broadband grant
On December 13, 2021, Governor Ralph Northam announced the approval of Hanover County’s application for a Virginia Telecommunications Initiative (VATI) grant in the amount of $13.97 million. Today’s funding announcement will deliver a total investment of over $55 million of new broadband infrastructure to serve Hanover County residents.
This funding from the State will leverage the County's American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) contribution of $14.84 million and private corporate investment from All Points Broadband, Dominion Energy and Rappahannock Electric Cooperative will make broadband service available to almost 6200 residents and businesses in Hanover that do not currently have sufficient internet access.
“Hanover is proud of our partnership with All Points Broadband and regional utility providers,” stated Hanover County Administrator John A. Budesky. “This Partnership will deliver the reality of high-speed internet to many under and unserved areas of our county. This partnership demonstrates the County’s commitment to our residents in meeting this need and delivers on the recommendations of the efforts of the County’s Broadband Advisory Committee.”
“Today is a historic day for Hanover County,” said Jimmy Carr, Chief Executive Officer of All Points Broadband. “We are honored to be partnering with the County to seize this once-in-a-generation opportunity to fully and finally bridge the digital divide with a project that will extend an all-fiber broadband network to all remaining unserved locations in the county.”
As of December 2022, all contracts and agreements between the County, Department of Housing and Community Development, and All Points have been signed. All funding is in place. Equipment has been ordered and is being delivered. All Points is working to arrange labor forces in anticipation of starting construction in early 2023. All Points is in the “make ready” phase where they are inventorying infrastructure (mostly power poles) in the field that will be leveraged for fiber installation. The first connections are anticipated in April 2023.
Buildout of the system is estimated to be complete within 24-36 months of July 1, 2022. Service will be available to customers as construction in that particular area is completed. A more detailed construction timeframe will be made available next year. Residents and businesses who want to learn more about the project, sign up for updates, or pre-register their locations for service once available should visit APB Fiber - All Points Broadband and complete a survey.
“This grant provides the much needed component of funding to Hanover County’s Broadband Access Plan,” said Sean Davis, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors. “This was the missing piece required to execute a very comprehensive and rather strategic initiative. We told the citizens how we would leverage existing dollars in order to compete for grant money, and today we can announce that the plan presented to the citizens was a success – as evidenced by the grant award. We as a Board are grateful to the citizens who helped build this plan and to all the folks who will now begin the work of bringing Broadband access to our rural areas. On behalf of your Board of Supervisors, I thank you all.”
“In a world where broadband access is more critical than ever, today’s announcements are an exciting step forward in the process of making internet access a reality for all Virginians,” said Alan Bradshaw, vice president of Strategic Partnerships for Dominion Energy. “Partnerships like this one in Hanover County show that when we work together, we can make a real impact, and we’re proud to work with our partners to bring this service to the communities we serve.” Dominion Energy will support the extension of broadband to unserved areas by deploying middle-mile fiber that All Points will use to connect end-customers to the Internet.
“At Rappahannock Electric Cooperative, our goal has always been to be part of the solution to enable and facilitate broadband to the households and businesses we serve,” said John Hewa, president and CEO of Rappahannock Electric Cooperative. “Being able to partner on this endeavor with the counties and All Points Broadband is a major accomplishment allowing each of us to further the Commonwealth’s goals of making broadband access available to everyone.”
In addition, Brightspeed, formerly known as CenturyLink, will be extending fiber service to over 1000 additional locations using the federal Rural Digital Opportunity Funding. These two concurrent efforts will essentially provide universal broadband internet coverage for all of Hanover County.