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Northern Neck broadband expansion project breaks ground

July 8, 2021 GMT

WARSAW, Va. (AP) — Work is starting on a project that aims to bring fiber-optic broadband to thousands of Northern Neck homes and businesses.

Gov. Ralph Northam joined Dominion Energy Virginia, All Points Broadband, and Northern Neck Electric Cooperative to celebrate the first phase of the project that aims to bring internet access to all remaining unserved locations in King George, Northumberland, Richmond and Westmoreland counties.

The project will use a $10 million grant from the Virginia Telecommunication Initiative with federal and local funding and private investment. It’s made possible by a pilot program promoting collaboration between localities, electric utilities and internet service providers that has already helped connect more than 13,000 homes and businesses in its first two years. Northam signed bipartisan legislation making the pilot program permanent this year.

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Dominion Energy is installing over 200 miles of fiber from Fredericksburg to Kilmarnock. All Points Broadband will lease the “middle-mile” fiber installed by Dominion Energy and is expected to begin installing the network’s “last mile,” connecting homes and businesses, later this year.

Northern Neck Electric Cooperative will work to extend the network, improving their electric grid and power poles along the way.