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County still in running for broadband grant

The Mathews Broadband Advisory Board got a bit of good news at its Tuesday meeting. The county is among the top five finalists for a $15,000 grant to help pay for a Smart Pole with Wi-Fi access and a sea-level sensor in a flood-prone part of the county.

Tyler Beekhoo of Broadband Telecom Services, the company providing consulting services in the county’s quest for 100 percent coverage, said the winner is expected to be announced on Friday. Should Mathews be the recipient, county supervisor Melissa Mason will accept the award on behalf of Mathews.

Beekhoo said his company has also prepared applications for grant funding from a $30 million pot of CARES Act funds designated by Gov. Ralph Northam for broadband in Virginia. One of the requests is for $24,643 apiece for each of eight solar-powered Wi-Fi Smart Poles to be located at various sites around the county. They would be equipped with 4G hotspots, and the grant funds, if provided, would cover the cost of 4G access for two years...

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