FCC’s Connect America Fund to provide more than 7,000 rural Virginians with broadband

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The Federal Communications Commission’s Connect America Fund plans to connect 7,000 rural Virginians to broadband. Telecommunications company CenturyLink Inc. accepted $2.1 million in special early funding from the FCC to deploy broadband service to more than 2,000 locations throughout the state. 

“In today’s economy, access to broadband means access to jobs and economic opportunity, in addition to better education and healthcare,” FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said in a statement. 

Nearly 38 percent of Virginia’s rural population – approximately 744,000 people – lacks access to high-speed Internet.  Virginia has the 8th lowest rate of rural broadband availability in the nation.

FCC’s Connect America Fund was launched last year in an effort to connect 19 million unserved rural Americans to high-speed Internet by 2020. A total of 36 states are receiving funding through the project’s first phase, which includes $100 million in early public funding plus matching tens of millions of dollars in private investment. 

CenturyLink Inc., headquarted in Monroe, La., must complete two-thirds of its new broadband commitments within two years, and the remainder by the third year. The company is installing broadband service to 45,000 rural homes throughout the U.S.

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