Officials this week announced Williamsburg will provide free broadband to the Highland Park neighborhood.
It will be a six-month pilot program that will start at the end of the year, thanks to $192,023 from the CARES Act money.
The city received the money from the $30 million CARES Act funding Gov. Ralph Northam allocated to improve broadband access in underserved localities, according to a news release from the city.
The pilot program in Highland Park will begin by the end of the year. Additional details concerning enrollment will be available in the coming weeks, officials said.
“The future of connectivity in Williamsburg is wireless, and we see broadband access as necessary as trash collection or water service,” Mayor Doug Pons said in a prepared statement. “This pilot program will demonstrate that we can overcome the affordability of service and lack of infrastructure that often leave people underserved.”
City Council made increasing broadband access for residents in its 2019-2020 Goals, Initiatives, and Outcomes document. In the past two years, the city researched the possibility of installing its own fiber network, but that option proved cost prohibitive.
Several months ago, the city approached Verizon wireless about using its wireless network as the backbone of broadband service in Williamsburg and worked with other hardware vendors on a solution to provide an in- home router with Verizon Wireless connectivity, officials said.
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