Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Gloucester Moves Towards Broadband Expansion For Residents

Gloucester has announced that it plans to expand broadband for residents (Photo by Karina Zhukovskaya from Pexels)

GLOUCESTER — The Gloucester County Board of Supervisors has recently allocated two million dollars of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to expand broadband internet to its unserved residents.

The project is designed to provide broadband for 2,500 unserved residential addresses throughout the county. The ARPA funding, in addition to a Virginia Telecommunications Initiative Grant, would help provide access to the entire County.

The U.S. Treasury Department requires that ARPA funds used on broadband deliver 100/100 Megabits per second (Mbps) capacity or 100/20 Mbps and scalable to 100 where geographic limitations are in place. This level of Mbps capacity would allow for online streaming.

The broadband expansion would utilize wireless signals that are produced from towers which are connected to a fiber network. The signals would then travel through the air to receivers at both residents’ homes and businesses within the County. It’s anticipated that this type of technology will reach buildings even in remote locations.

The County will allow the use of its towers and rooftops for broadband equipment. Additionally, the Gloucester County School Board recently voted to explore a contract with Open Broadband for use at its facilities as well.

Currently, Cox Communications provides service to approximately 86 percent of the county.

Local residents or businesses seeking more information on the new service can look a Gloucesters Broadband Information Hub.

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