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$2 million in broadband granted

Lunenburg County is set to receive approximately $2 million in broadband installation from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), according to an announcement earlier this summer.

The Lunenburg area is slated for $2,030,877 at 644 locations. The broadband installation is part of the FCC’s next wave of Connect America Funding. RiverStreet Communications of Virginia is scheduled to install the broadband.

The broadband access is expected to be 1 Gbps (gigabits per second) or 500 Mbps (megabits per second).

RiverStreet received the bid to install broadband in surrounding counties as well, receiving a total $32 million through the Connect America Fund to build broadband service in Charlotte, Halifax, Campbell, Bedford rural parts of Bedford, Campbell, Charlotte, Halifax, King and Queen, Mecklenburg and Pittsylvania counties.

RiverStreet Communications, based in North Carolina, specializes in last mile broadband service, installing broadband in rural areas with low population density.

This news comes as the Virginia Tobacco Regional Revitalization Commission and Kinex Inc. announced they partnered to upgrade and install broadband at approximately 400 locations in Lunenburg in July.

Joan B. Tuck, professor of Information Technology at Southside Virginia Community College in Keysville, said in a previous article by Farmville Newsmedia Reporter Crystal Vandegrift that broadband internet access continues to be a challenge in rural areas.

“As a faculty member at Southside Virginia Community College for the past 21 years, I specifically know-how important internet access is to education and for students to be successful,” Tuck said.

Tuck also said she felt that the expansion of the internet should be to all citizens. “Internet service providers (ISP’s) working on expanding broadband should reach most citizens throughout Charlotte County, not just inside town limits or those close to existing towers,” she said. “The ISPs should have a mission to serve the underserved, and a substantial grant such as this gives them the opportunity to meet the challenges head-on.”