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Caroline County is asking residents to complete a survey regarding access to and interest in high speed (broadband) internet service. Information from the survey will be used by the Caroline County Broadband Committee and the Board of Supervisors to develop a comprehensive strategic plan for broadband access, strengthen potential federal and state grant applications and encourage private internet service providers to expand service in the County.
Caroline County has no plans to become an internet service provider (ISP) itself. Instead, the County is working directly with existing ISP’s to expand their footprint and encouraging potential new providers to begin offering service in Caroline. To help achieve this goal the County has partnered with Atlantic Broadband, a current service provider in the County, to submit a Fiscal Year 2020/2021 VATI (Virginia Telecommunication Initiative) grant to expand service along portions of Ladysmith Road/Balty Road/Penola Road and portions of Route 17 east and west of the Town of Port Royal. In total, both projects will pass approximately 512 occupied homes. Both Atlantic Broadband and Caroline County have agreed to put up significant matching funds for the project to make the grant application more competitive.
The County has also had recent discussions with Comcast about identifying potential methods of expand high speed internet service in Caroline. In addition, Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC) is currently exploring the feasibility of developing broadband service capability and weighing the possibility of applying for federal grant funding to build the required infrastructure. REC provided a preliminary update of their efforts to date at the July 14, 2020 Board of Supervisors meeting. Should REC decide to enter the broadband business, it may offer the best long-term solution to extend broadband service to the entirety of Caroline County.
Please click on the following link to access the survey:
Caroline residents are urged to complete the survey in full. The information provided will be very helpful to the County’s efforts to expand broadband service for its citizens.