Regional Partnership is Bringing Broadband to Buckingham County

Regional Partnership is Bringing Broadband to Buckingham County

Buckingham, Va. – Efforts to provide broadband internet service in Buckingham County took a leap forward after announcing a proposed partnership with the energy utilities serving the community.

Buckingham County, Dominion Energy Virginia, Firefly Fiber BroadbandSM, a whole-owned subsidiary of Central Virginia Electric Cooperative, and Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC) have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to advance a regional partnership that aims to deliver fiber-optic broadband service to unserved and underserved households and businesses, subject to regulatory approvals.

The agreement could extend access to more than 25,000 Virginians who currently lack access to reliable broadband services, including Buckingham here in Buckingham County.

This partnership marks a major milestone in ensuring residents have access to quality internet service. Dominion and REC are both installing fiber to improve system reliability and resiliency. Firefly will then lease the “middle-mile” fiber to provide broadband access.

The Buckingham County Administrators and Board of Supervisors should be applauded for their efforts to secure reliable, high-speed internet to local households and businesses. Doing so will bring improved education services, new job opportunities, and the potential to attract new businesses.

IT Manager Jamie Shumaker had the following to say regarding broadband in Buckingham: “As a rural area, it is increasingly important for Buckingham to make sure that our residents are able to have access to broadband for education, career opportunities, healthcare services, and social awareness. Local government is keenly aware of the importance of broadband and the dangers of the lack thereof. We are constantly pursuing opportunities to expand coverage areas of existing providers and exploring viable alternative providers through grassroots conversational efforts, grant applications, and Virginia committees that encourage advancement.”

The project is intended to cover all possible locations in Albemarle, Appomattox, Buckingham, Cumberland, Fluvanna, Goochland, Greene, Louisa, and Powhatan that do not have access to broadband meeting the minimum qualifying service speeds that the Commonwealth of Virginia has established which are 25 mbps download and 3 mbps upload from a fixed wireless or wired connection. If you only have access to satellite or cell phone for internet service, you are considered unserved. If you have connections to a fixed wireless service or have DSL or other phone service and your speeds do not reliably meet the 25/3 threshold, you are considered unserved.

Your help is needed to define the final unserved area map.  Please visit from your home computer using your home internet connection and follow the link to complete a short survey providing your address and what internet service options you have. If you have fixed wireless or wired internet service, we will also ask that you run a speed test once you have completed the survey; satellite or cell phone services will not be required to run the speed test.