Virginia Deploys $2 Billion to Achieve Universal Broadband in the Northern Neck
GOOCHLAND [December 13, 2021]—Governor Ralph Northam today announced new grants that will advance Virginia 90% to the goal of achieving universal access to broadband and high-speed internet, placing Virginia on track to being one of the first states successfully charting a path to universal access to broadband.
“Broadband access impacts every facet of our daily lives, from education to business to health care,” said Governor Northam. “It’s a necessity for navigating today’s digital world, and this new funding will close Virginia’s digital divide with universal broadband by 2024.”
For the Northern Neck region, the funds will build fiber broadband to reach an additional 3,411 unserved locations and achieve universal coverage in King George, Lancaster, and Northumberland Counties. The $3,190,500 awarded will be leveraged by an additional $20,477,692.25 in private and public investment. Full news release here.
Governor Northam Celebrates Groundbreaking on Northern Neck Broadband Project
Partnership will deliver universal internet access to region, connecting approximately 7,200 unserved locations
WARSAW (July 8, 2021)—Governor Ralph Northam today joined Dominion Energy Virginia, All Points Broadband, and Northern Neck Electric Cooperative to celebrate the groundbreaking on the first phase of a project that will deliver fiber-optic broadband access to approximately 7,200 currently unserved households and businesses in Virginia’s Northern Neck region. This phase of the project will use a $10 million grant from the Virginia Telecommunication Initiative, along with federal and local funding and private investment, to bring internet access to all remaining unserved locations in King George, Northumberland, Richmond, and Westmoreland counties.
“Expanding access to affordable, reliable high-speed internet has been a top priority since the start of our administration—and the pandemic has only underscored the urgency in bridging the digital divide,” said Governor Northam. “By leveraging federal, state, local investment and private capital, this project will bring connectivity and opportunity to rural, unserved communities in the Northern Neck. We need to think big to make universal broadband a reality in our Commonwealth, and this regional initiative is exactly the type of unique partnership that will deliver on this promise.”
This partnership between electric utilities and broadband providers was made possible through a pilot program established by the General Assembly in 2019, which promotes collaboration between localities, electric utilities, and internet service providers to connect unserved areas to high-speed internet. In just two years of the pilot program, Virginia’s utility companies have helped connect more than 13,000 homes and businesses across the Commonwealth. Earlier this year, Governor Northam signed bipartisan legislation that makes the pilot program permanent.
Dominion Energy is installing over 200 miles of fiber from Fredericksburg to Kilmarnock, which will serve as the backbone for the project. This fiber capacity can be used for operational needs and for broadband access, reducing broadband deployment costs for internet service providers. Under the agreement, All Points Broadband, the internet service provider for the partnership, will lease the “middle-mile” fiber installed by Dominion Energy in the company’s electric service area in these four counties. All Points Broadband is expected to begin installing the “last mile” portion of the network that will connect unserved homes and businesses in the fourth quarter of 2021.
“Bridging the digital divide is a complex challenge that requires new business models and new ways of thinking,” said Jimmy Carr, CEO of All Points Broadband. “The Northern Neck initiative is a model of what can be achieved through a combination of public-private and electric-utility partnerships, and we are excited to bring more projects like this one to fruition.”
“We are thrilled to see this project on Virginia’s Northern Neck moving forward and are excited to work with our partners to help bridge the digital divide in the communities we serve,” said Ed Baine, President of Dominion Energy Virginia.
“Governor Northam and his administration, and bipartisan leadership in the General Assembly, have determined that bridging the digital divide in Virginia is a top priority,” said Ajit Pai, immediate past chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, and partner at Searchlight Capital Partners, All Points’ lead sponsor. “Building on the forward-looking, bipartisan framework that Virginia has established, Searchlight is committed to investing in more partnerships like the Northern Neck initiative, so we can finally solve this challenge together.”
Northern Neck Electric Cooperative will work alongside Dominion Energy and All Points Broadband to extend the network, improving their electric grid and power poles along the way.
“We are proud of the role Northern Neck Electric Cooperative has played to bring this project to today, and the example this initiative has set for other regions throughout Virginia,” said Brad Hicks, President and CEO of Northern Neck Electric Cooperative.
“We are pleased to see construction begin on this project to bring much needed broadband access to the Northern Neck,” said Senators Ryan McDougle and Richard Stuart and Delegate Margaret Ransone. “This critical service will improve quality of life and economic prosperity and help move our region forward.”
All Points Broadband, Dominion Energy, Northern Neck Electric Cooperative and the Counties of King George, Northumberland, Richmond, and Westmoreland announced an agreement on the project in April 2020. Lancaster and Middlesex Counties have subsequently joined the regional initiative. Work on the project is underway using a phased approach, including an application by Dominion Energy to the State Corporation Commission which was approved in March 2021. The partners have secured $18.8 million in state and federal funding to help bring a fiber-to-the-home broadband network to presently unserved locations in the initial four counties.
Residents of the Northern Neck can visit fiber.allpointsbroadband.com to register their location, determine whether their location is included in the project’s initial phase, and sign up for future project updates.
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Dominion Energy Virginia is developing a pilot program to help local Internet Service Providers (ISPs) reach rural localities, as outlined in recent legislation.
Under the arrangement, Dominion Energy provides the important “middle-mile” fiber-optic cable needed for local ISPs to extend their services into unserved communities.
The Northern Neck Planning District Commission and All Points Broadband Announce $8.5M in Additional Federal Funding to Support Completion of Regional Broadband Initiative for the Northern Neck – Bringing Total State and Federal Grants to $18.8 Million
WARSAW, Va. (February 8, 2021) – The Northern Neck Planning District Commission and All Points Broadband announced today that they have received an additional $8.5 million in federal broadband funds to support the second and final phase of a regional fiber-to-the-home broadband network to bring internet access to approximately 7,500 unserved locations in the Counties of King George, Northumberland, Richmond, and Westmoreland, in partnership with Dominion Energy Virginia and the Northern Neck Electric Cooperative. Together with the $10.3 million in state funding announced in January, the partners have now received $18.8 million in state and federal funding to help build a fiber-to-the-home network to serve presently unserved locations in the initial four counties.
“Access to reliable internet is more critical now than ever,” said Ed Baine, president of Dominion Energy Virginia. “We’re excited about the role we play in this partnership, and we’re optimistic about how much these efforts could help communities here in our home state.”
“This project is incredibly exciting and will lead to universal coverage in a huge portion of the Commonwealth that has been left behind for too long,” said Evan Feinman, Governor Northam’s Chief Broadband Advisor. “The Governor’s vision of getting all Virginians online is a big step closer to being a reality.”
“Less than a year ago we charted an ambitious new course to achieve universal broadband access in the Northern Neck and we are making remarkable progress,” said Jerry W. Davis, Executive Director of the Northern Neck Planning District Commission. “The last few weeks represent a watershed moment in our long journey to deliver this critical infrastructure to everyone, and we are thankful to All Points, Dominion Energy Virginia and the Northern Neck Electric Cooperative for their roles in this unique partnership. There is a lot of work to be done, but we’re in a better position than ever before and the objective is finally in sight.”
“In the past month we’ve delivered more than $18 million in grant funding in support of this important project, and we look forward to commencing construction on Phase I later this year,” said Jimmy Carr, CEO of All Points Broadband. “We’re working with our partners to finalize Phase II and are looking for opportunities to work with more jurisdictions to expand this effort. The imperative to ensure universal access to broadband has never been more urgent.”
Residents of the Northern Neck can visit: fiber.allpointsbroadband.com to register their location, determine whether their location is included in the project’s initial phase, and to sign up for future project updates.
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NNPDC media contact: Jerry W. Davis, NNPDC Executive Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or (804) 333-1900 ex.22
APB media contact: email@example.com
Dominion Energy media contact: Audrey Cannon, Audrey.L.Cannon@dominionenergy.com, 804-771-6115
The Northern Neck Planning District Commission, All Points Broadband, and the Counties of King George, Northumberland, Richmond, and Westmoreland Receive Significant Grant In Support of First Phase of Regional Broadband Initiative for the Northern Neck
RICHMOND, Va. (January 26, 2021) – The Northern Neck Planning District Commission and All Points Broadband announced today that they have received a $10.3 million grant to help fund construction of a regional fiber-to-the-home broadband network to bring internet access to approximately 5,000 unserved locations in the Counties of King George, Northumberland, Richmond, and Westmoreland.
“Receiving this grant is a significant milestone on our path to achieving universal broadband in King George, Northumberland, Richmond, and Westmoreland Counties,” said Jimmy Carr, All Points’ CEO. “Last March, we established a unique partnership among All Points, these four counties, Dominion Energy, and the Northern Neck Electric Cooperative, and together, we are pioneering a new model for bringing fiber-optic broadband to communities that have been passed over.”
“With so many Virginians working and learning from home, there is a tremendous need for access to reliable internet,” said Joe Woomer, Dominion Energy’s vice president of Grid & Technical Solutions. “We’re committed to supporting broadband efforts every step of the way, and we’re thrilled to help enable this breakthrough.”
“Northern Neck Electric Cooperative is proud to have been part of this critical regional initiative from the very beginning,” said President & CEO Brad Hicks. “Bridging the digital divide is a complex challenge and we have to think big.”
The $10.3 million grant from the Virginia Telecommunication Initiative will support construction of a first phase of a regional fiber network that will bring internet service to approximately 5,000 unserved locations. A deployment timeframe and plans for the second phase of the regional project will be announced over the course of the first quarter.
Residents can visit https://fiber.allpointsbroadband.com to register their location and determine whether they are in the project’s first phase.
“Richmond County is extremely excited about the recent grant announcement, and continuing to work with our partners in bringing 100% broadband coverage to all of Richmond County. This initiative is probably the single most important project that the Richmond County Board of Supervisors has undertaken in recent years, and we continue to be very optimistic that our community will greatly benefit from this initiative,” stated Richmond County Board of Supervisors Chairman, Lee Sanders.
“Bringing Phase One this much closer to fruition is a testament to the hard work of our entire region, and the consistent support we’ve received from the Department of Housing and Community Development,” said Jerry W. Davis, Executive Director of the Northern Neck Planning District Commission. “We look forward to working with All Points, Dominion, and Northern Neck Electric Cooperative to achieve our vision of universal broadband.”
APB media contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
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About All Points Broadband
All Points Broadband empowers communities by bringing utility grade broadband to underserved markets, deploying fiber and state-of-the-art fixed-wireless technology to homes and businesses in communities throughout Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Kentucky.
About Dominion Energy
More than 7 million customers in 20 states energize their homes and businesses with electricity or natural gas from Dominion Energy (NYSE: D), headquartered in Richmond, Va. The company is committed to sustainable, reliable, affordable and safe energy and is one of the nation’s largest producers and transporters of energy with more than $100 billion of assets providing electric generation, transmission and distribution, as well as natural gas storage, transmission, distribution and import/export services. The company is committed to achieving net zero carbon dioxide and methane emissions from its power generation and gas infrastructure operations by 2050. Please visit DominionEnergy.com to learn more.
About Northern Neck Electric Cooperative
Northern Neck Electric Cooperative (NNEC) is a local, member-owned, not-for-profit, electric cooperative serving over 19,200 homes, farms and businesses in Lancaster, Northumberland, Richmond, Westmoreland, King George and Stafford Counties. Visit www.nnec.coop for more information about NNEC.