The Virginia Telecommunications Industry Association (VTIA) applauds the General Assembly and the Governor’s decision to dramatically increase funding to build broadband across the state. Last year, Virginia allocated $50 Million per year for broadband deployment. This year, $700 Million is available. In the past, with only $50 Million to distribute, many good proposals had to be rejected. This year, indicators are that all good proposals will be approved in support of connecting as many Virginia residents as possible to broadband.
September 14, 2021 is the deadline for filing for this broadband funding, which is being administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development through the Virginia Telecommunications Initiative (VATI). Local governments must file the applications, and each can file for multiple projects. The local government must team with one or more broadband companies of their choice.
According to VTIA’s Rich Schollmann, “VTIA member companies have a proven track record of partnering with localities and obtaining these grants in the past. We are thrilled that the funding available has dramatically increased. Our members have been anticipating this increased demand for fiber broadband and are prepared to support the needs of our communities. We encourage local governments to work with broadband providers, including VTIA members, to meet the September 14th deadline and take advantage of this funding. We agree with Governor Northam that this is a ‘generational opportunity’ to bring broadband to all families, schools, and businesses across the Commonwealth.”
About the VTIA.
Founded in 1935, the Association represents the interests of a number of broadband and telecom providers in Virginia, including Burke’s Garden Telephone Company, Inc., Lumen/CenturyLink, Citizens Telephone Cooperative, Inc., Empower Broadband Inc., Highland Telephone Cooperative, LUMOS Networks, MGW Telephone Company/Lingo, New Hope Telephone Cooperative, Pembroke Telephone Cooperative, RiverStreet Networks, Scott County Telephone Cooperative, and TDS Telecom.