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Free broadband access coming to Main Street

A plan to provide free outdoor public access to broadband along Gloucester’s Main Street by Christmas was unveiled on Nov. 10 during a meeting of the VATI Grant Team for Gloucester and Mathews counties.

The plan will involve installing transmission equipment on various existing structures along the street in a crisscross pattern to ensure blanket coverage from the county building complex to the stoplight at Route 14, said Gloucester’s Acting County Administrator Carol Steele.

It’s all part of a project being completed by North Carolina-based Open Broadband under a $342,657 Virginia Telecommunications Initiative grant. While the grant’s overall purpose is to make broadband available to 310 new customers—130 in upper Gloucester and 180 in the North area of Mathews—the terms of the grant also call for Gloucester, Mathews and Open Broadband to cooperatively provide a certain amount of free public access.

“Having broadband available doesn’t mean you can afford it,” said Steele in ...

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