July 26, 2012
The Federal Communications Commission is targeting $2.1 million toward boosting access to high-speed Internet to rural Virginians.
The FCC's Connect America Fund will help CenturyLink Inc. connect more than 2,000 locations statewide to broadband service. Under the deal, CenturyLink must complete two-thirds of its new broadband installations within two years, and the rest by the third year.
FCC officials say that about 7,000 more people in Virginia will be able to access high-speed internet through these efforts.
The agency says about 744,000 Virginians - nearly 38 percent of the rural population - lack access to broadband, and the state has the eighth-lowest rural broadband access in the nation.
Connect America is a national public-private effort to connect 19 million rural Americans to high-speed Internet by 2020.