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Montgomery County looking to partnership to improve broadband

Montgomery County is partnering with a small Southwest Virginia company in hopes of improving available bandwidths in pockets that still have little to no access to high-speed internet.

The county is awaiting a decision on a nearly $1 million grant that it is requesting from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development’s Virginia Telecommunication Initiative.

The county partnered with the company GigaBeam Networks and the New River Valley Regional Commission to submit the grant application.

The $1.4 million project will target the eastern Montgomery County communities of Elliston, Shawsville, Lafayette and Alleghany Springs. Of that projected amount, $919,569 is slated to be covered with grant money. The county will provide a 10% match, while GigaBeam will match the rest via a combination of cash and in-kind contributions.

The project would mark the first real step in the county’s most recent call to close the existing internet service gaps across the locality.

The collaboration also comes as county officials have raised concerns about whether local students — who have had to move much of their school work online due to classroom restrictions prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic — have access to adequate internet.

To learn more, check out the whole article below.