StimulatingBroadband.com 02/08/2010 San Francisco - As announced earlier today by U.S. Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), and the Obama Administration's Chief Information Officer Aneesh Chopra, two organizations in Virginia will receive over $21.5 million in federal broadband stimulus funds.
Both groups in the announcment of Senator Warner (left), the Mid-Atlantic Broadband Cooperative and theVirginia Tech Foundation, Inc., have been awarded the funding from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP), administered by the National Telecommunciations and Information Administration (NTIA). NTIA manges Commerce's portion of the $7.2 billion broadband stimulus program fudned by the Recovery Act.
The BTOP grants are for:
Mid-Atlantic Broadband Cooperative: $16 million infrastructure grant (with an additional $4 million in applicant-provided matching funds) to add 465 miles of new fiber that will directly connect 121 K-12 schools in Southern Virginia to an existing 800-mile fiber high-speed network. By improving connection speeds for these schools from 1.5 Mbps to at least10 Mbps, these new fiber connections will allow the schools, many in isolated areas, to take advantage of distance learning and virtual classroom opportunities. The expanded fiber network also will spur affordable broadband service to local consumers by enabling more than 30 Internet service providers to connect to the project’s open network.
Virginia Tech Foundation, Inc.: $5.5 million infrastructure grant (with an additional $1.4 million in applicant-provided matching funds) to add 110 miles of open access fiber-optic network between Blacksburg and Bedford City. The resulting network will cross six counties in Virginia’s Appalachian region, and provide direct high-speed connections to Virginia Tech’s main campus in Blacksburg and the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine in Roanoke, enhancing the ability for both institutions to collaborate on cutting-edge medical and other scientific research with institutions in the United States and abroad.
View Federal Broadband Stimulus: Round I Award Locations in a larger map
Senator Warner said today in a statement released by his office he is excited about the progress that will be made through these large middle-mile projects:
"These stimulus dollars are going to create two separate paths for job creation. The first will be through immediate jobs created through the installation of fiber-optic and broadband cables. More important is the economic growth and activity that will come to our rural communities from having the high-speed connectivity. … Broadband access doesn’t guarantee that you will attract 21st Century jobs, but if you don’t have it, you won’t even be considered."
"This is a step in the right direction and we’d like to see more of this. It’s important that grants like these are made in a timely manner so these jobs can be created to help get our economy back on track," concluded Warner.
As Virginia governor, Warner helped to create the Mid-Atlantic Broadband Cooperative, a partnership between the public and private sectors to find ways to increase affordable broadband access and attract business and good jobs throughout the commonwealth.
Last year, Senator Warner hosted the Virginia Summit on Broadband Access, to help Virginia's small businesses, non-profits, and local governments learn how to apply for federal broadband programs. StimulatingBrodband.com