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Franklin County wins $2.4 million state broadband grant

A state grant for almost $2.4 million will help Franklin County bring broadband service to rural residents who don’t have internet access.

“Another great day in the county,” said Chris Whitlow, interim county administrator.

The Virginia Telecommunication Initiative grant award, announced Wednesday by Gov. Ralph Northam in Charles City County, comes a day after Northam came to Rocky Mount for the announcement that California-based organic tea maker Traditional Medicinals intends to build a $29.7 million plant in Summit View Business Park.

Grants totaling more than $18 million went to 12 projects across Virginia, including $1.8 million to Connect Grayson in Grayson County and $798,000 to the Patrick County Broadband Expansion. The $2.38 million award to the Franklin County Broadband Authority was the second largest in the set.

“We recognized the need in 2017 and ’18 for better broadband access and created the broadband authority to help manage the development and deployment of broadband,” Whitlow said. “In 2019 the county developed a broadband plan to provide better coverage and internet access countywide.”

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