Board Dedicates $12.4M to Expand Broadband Access in Loudoun

During public comment, some residents who called in to speak remotely were inaudible due to their connectivity issues.

On Tuesday, July 20, 2021, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors voted to allocate over $12.4 million to bring broadband to underserved communities Loudoun. This unanimous decision will boost expansion efforts to western parts of the county and, assuming the Virginia Telecommunication Initiative (VATI) grant is awarded to the board, this broadband effort should virtually be of no cost to Loudoun County taxpayers.

The board’s update on this effort, referred to as the Emergency Broadband Implementation Plan, is part of a series of quarterly updates that will be made to the public. Within this plan, the $12.4 million (which will come from the county’s American Rescue Plan funding from earlier in June) is a match for the anticipated VATI grant amount, and accounts for 17.3% of the project’s total cost.

The VATI contribution amount hovers around $17.75 million and comprises 24.6% of the total cost. The remaining amount will be covered by All Points Broadband/Dominion and puts the entire project’s cost at $72 million. As for the start date of the project, the county is aiming to begin construction in summer 2022 and has an anticipated duration of 24 months.

As for the previously recommended $1 million in board-approved ARPA funds for broadband projects, the county’s implementation plan explains the following:

DIT received service addresses for consideration of ARPA funding from Board offices and all of the locations provided will be served by the Loudoun County-APB VATI project. DIT continues to research through County GIS, Verizon, Comcast, and APB proprietary data, to determine homes that may remain unserved and to leverage these funds to assist these households, communities, and residents with service connections.

During public comment, several of the residents who tried to participate via phone were unrecognizable due to their connectivity issues. A point was made by Supervisor Buffington that poor internet connectivity is another driving factor in the county’s mission to bring high speed internet to all of Loudoun County.

For more broadband information from Loudoun County, please visit the county’s website.

For more on broadband from DAAR, click here. For additional information, visit the Loudoun Broadband Alliances’ site here.

For questions, reach out to DAAR’s Government Affairs Director.

July 28, 2021