Virginia will award over $26.9 million in grants to increase broadband access in the state through the Virginia Telecommunication Initiative (VATI), Gov. Ralph Northam announced Jan. 26. The grants will support five projects in 11 different localities.

The projects will connect over 11,700 more customers and leverage over $34 million in private partnerships and local investments, according to the release. The grants will be administered through the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.

“Now more than ever, we must ensure that Virginians in every part of our Commonwealth have access to reliable, high-speed internet. With these grants, we will help bridge the digital divide in unserved communities and provide thousands of households and businesses with the connections they need to work, learn, and thrive,” Northam said in the release.

This is just the first round of awards of VATI grants for the year, and VATI received over 45 applications in total, requesting over $105 million in total funding. The projects chosen will not be affected by the first phase of the Federal Communication Commission’s Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, or have had any overlap removed during the assessment phase.

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Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson is MeriTalk SLG's Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.