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Botetourt County receives $570,000 broadband access grant

More broadband access is coming to Botetourt County, courtesy of a six-figure grant from the commonwealth.

The county on Thursday announced that it received $569,808 from Gov. Ralph Northam’s Fast Track Broadband program, to improve accessibility in underserved areas.

County officials have secured about $3.3 million in the past three years, to improve and expand broadband access there, according to a news release.

The funding helps Botetourt County move closer to its goal of connecting all of its residents to the digital world, according to Mac Scothorn, vice chairman of the board of supervisors and chairman of the Botetourt Broadband Advisory Council.

“These funds not only help to bring much needed high-speed internet service to citizens, but, in this critical moment, are also expanding opportunities for distance learning, telehealth, and remote work as we all continue to deal with the impacts and new realities associated with the Covid-19 pandemic,” Scothorn said in the news release.

About 80% of Botetourt County’s 14,000 households have broadband access, up from 70% in 2017, according to Cody Sexton, assistant to the county administrator.

The new grant will fund a Citizens Broadband Radio Service development in the Fincastle area. County officials will share a service area map in about early spring, the release says.

To learn more, check out the whole article below.