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Dominion broadband pilot program seeks to bridge digital divide

Residents in rural parts of Virginia could gain access to broadband internet critical for jobs, health care and education under three pilot projects proposed Oct. 1 by Dominion Energy Virginia.

The proposed Rural Broadband Pilot projects, if approved by the State Corporation Commission, would extend broadband internet to residents in Surry County, Botetourt County and the Northern Neck, through partnerships with Internet Service Providers.

The proposal includes nearly 300 miles of middle-mile fiber and would cost approximately $29 million to construct.

The three proposed pilot projects proposed are the first the company has brought forward under the Grid Transformation & Security Act of 2018 and legislation patroned by Del. Israel O’Quinn (R-Washington County) in 2019. They also align with Gov. Ralph Northam’s $85 million proposal to expand access to broadband for unserved communities.

In the Northern Neck, Dominion Energy proposes to install approximately 217 miles of...

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