Commerce Awards Recovery Act Broadband Expansion Grants Totaling More than $20 Million for Virginia
Originally published: February 8, 2010
Last updated: February 8, 2010 - 10:03pm
The Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced two grants totaling more than $21.5 million to expand broadband Internet infrastructure in Virginia. The two grants will add 575 miles of new high-speed Internet infrastructure in southern Virginia. The grants were announced during a press conference call with White House Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra, NTIA Administrator Larry Strickling, Sens. Jim Webb (D-VA) and Mark Warner (D-VA), and Rep. Tom Perriello (D-VA).
Mid-Atlantic Broadband Cooperative: $16 million infrastructure grant with an additional $4 million in applicant-provided matching funds to add 465 miles of new fiber that will directly connect 121 K-12 schools in southern Virginia to an existing 800-mile, fiber, high-speed network. By improving connection speeds for these schools from 1.5 Mbps to at least10 Mbps, these new fiber connections will allow the schools, many in isolated areas, to take advantage of distance learning and virtual classroom opportunities. In addition, the expanded fiber network will spur affordable broadband service to local consumers by enabling more than 30 Internet service providers to connect to the project's open network.
Virginia Tech Foundation: $5.5 million infrastructure grant with an additional $1.4 million in applicant-provided matching funds to add 110 miles of open access, fiber-optic network between Blacksburg and Bedford City—an existing network operated by the Mid-Atlantic Broadband Cooperative. The resulting network will cross six counties in Virginia's Appalachian region, and provide direct, high-speed connections to Virginia Tech's main campus in Blacksburg and the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine in Roanoke, enhancing the ability for both institutions to collaborate on cutting-edge medical and other scientific research with institutions in the United States and abroad.
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