State awards Pulaski County millions as part of larger effort to bring broadband to rural Virginians
A few miles from Claytor Lake at the Pulaski County Innovation Center, a crowd of 20 people applauded as a giant check of $29 million dollars was presented to county administrators.
Handing over the money was Tamara Holmes, director of Virginia’s office of broadband, through the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).
“We like to say that Virginia was doing broadband before it was cool,” Holmes said.
Hundreds of thousands of Virginians lack access to high-speed internet— there are gaps in just about every county in the Commonwealth. There are also dozens of projects underway to get people connected, including this one in Pulaski County.
Holmes said they’re hoping to get everyone across Virginia connected to high-speed internet in the next few years.
“The goal is actually to have funded every single unserved location to have access,” Holmes said. “The goal is to do that sooner than later.”
All Points Broadband is putting $24 million towards this project in Pulaski County, which is expected to bring internet to eight thousand homes. A representative for the internet company said they’re planning to begin installing fiber into homes by late 2024. In the meantime, they still have to complete the permitting process and work with utility companies to update electric poles to be able to carry fiber.
This Pulaski County project is one of 35 grants awarded by the DHCD in 2021. But like this one, many are still years away from completion.
This August, the state will begin reviewing another round of awards, which could bring them closer to their target of getting high-speed internet to everybody in Virginia.