By Bill Atkinson- The Progress-Index Published 9:50am ET, Feb 1st, 2021
Officials announce the award Monday morning, say its Ruralband subsidiary will use the money to build out its network to more than 1,300 miles of fiber
Prince George Electric Cooperative's Ruralband subsidiary is getting more than $6 million from the Federal Communications Commission to expand broadband service to five counties in central and southeast Virginia, including Prince George and Dinwiddie.
The money is coming from the FCC's Rural Digital Opportunity Fund's phase 1 auction.
Ruralband and PGEC said in a statement Monday that they will use the federal dollars to expand its home service to customers in Prince George, Dinwiddie, Isle of Wight, Surry and Sussex counties. Currently, more than 5,000 customers are in its fiber-to-the-home program.
“In many of our communities, options for high-speed internet are limited and unreliable, and we are working hard to get to those areas with fiber-to-the-home broadband,” Casey Logan. president and CEO of the co-op, said in the statement. “Over the past year, we’ve made significant inroads throughout the areas we serve and this award will help us speed that deployment and get fiber access in the hands of the homes and businesses we serve.”
When complete, PGEC expects Ruralband to use more than 1,300 miles of fiber to increase internet access.
PGEC partnered with optic-network manufacturer Conexon and more than 90 other co-ops to form the Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium, which gave it more bidding power with the FCC. Through the process, Conexon secured a total of $1.1 billion for the group.
PGEC also is using a Virginia telecommunication grant and is working with Dominion Energy to get 100% of residents in Surry County online.
Bill Atkinson (he/him/his) is the news director of The Progress-Index, located in his hometown of Petersburg, Va. He is also the breaking-news coordinator and has been known to "nerd out" over political news coverage and history. Contact Bill at [email protected], and follow him on Twitter at @BAtkinson_PI, and subscribe to us at progress-index.com.