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Virginia expects $2B in public-private broadband funding

October 20, 2021 GMT

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia has received a record number of local and private sector applications to match state investments in broadband connectivity and the state expects more than $2 billion in total broadband funding, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Tuesday.

Virginia aims to expand high-speed internet access to more than 250,000 homes and businesses, using federal emergency aid to close a gap in opportunity for remote work and study during the COVID-19 pandemic, news outlets reported. Virginia has received requests for $943 million in grants to fund 57 projects to expand access to broadband telecommunications, Northam said

The state expects to use $850 million in federal and state budget funds, mostly American Rescue Plan Act aid. It would be matched by $1.15 billion in private and local government funds.

Not all projects will be funded this year, but the state expects to award grants by the end of the year. It will put Virginia on track to reach universal broadband coverage by 2024, four years earlier than expected.