FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. (WSET) — Franklin County was granted $17.7 million from Virginia's Telecommunication Grant Initiative for two projects that will bring broadband to many of the unserved areas in Franklin County.
The grant is intended to prepare communities to build, utilize and capitalize on telecommunications infrastructure. The goal is to create strong competitive communities.
Funds of $7.7 million from the American Rescue Plan Act will go into these projects over the next two to three years, as well as nearly $24 million from private partners and other grants.
One project is the continuation of a partnership with Shenandoah Cable Television to add an additional 3,500 premises to its current coverage area. The existing cable plant will be extended and new fiber brought to the home network.
A second project will provide high-speed fiber to the home broadband services of over 2,000 homes and businesses in Franklin County's hardest-to-reach areas.
“These projects represent a significant investment by the State of Virginia, Franklin County and our private partners in eliminating the digital divide in Franklin County” said Ronnie Thompson, Chairman of the Franklin County Board of Supervisors. “The County Board of Supervisors and Broadband Authority see these two comprehensive projects as a once in a generation opportunity where we could leverage a significant amount of Federal funding received by the County with available state funding for broadband. The County looks forward to continuing our relationship with Shentel and working with new partners to bring these projects to completion over the next 2-3 years.”
Both projects are still under design and permitting. Construction is scheduled to begin later this year.