Southern, Southwest Virginia receive $21.5 million to expand broadband

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Southwest and Southern Virginia have received two grants to increase broadband infrastructure.

The grants were made under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. They will support an additional 575 miles of broadband infrastructure. 

“These projects are valuable in terms of attracting new businesses, allowing medical professionals to give better care, and giving tens of thousands of local residents access to the Internet,” said Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia said in a statement.

The grants include the $16 million Mid-Atlantic Broadband Cooperative, which will add 465 miles of new fiber in Southern Virginia to connect 121 elementary and secondary schools into an existing 800-mile network. In addition, broadband access will be improved by allowing more than 30 Internet service providers to connect to the network.

The $5.5 million Virginia Tech Foundation Inc. grant will be used to add 110 miles of a fiber-optic network between Blacksburg and Bedford City. It will cross six counties and provide connections to Virignia Tech and the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine.

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