BRACEY, Va. (AP) — A rural telephone cooperative is getting $18.9 million in federal stimulus money to build and operate high-speed Internet services in 15 rural south-central Virginia counties and the cities of Emporia and Franklin.
The Buggs Island Telephone Cooperative says the funding will help the area get affordable Internet access, which can make it more competitive in attracting new businesses and create jobs.
The cooperative says the grants from the Department of Commerce's Broadband Technology Opportunities Program will fund 80 percent of the cost of upgrading Internet service to up to 100,000 residents and more than 14,000 businesses. The other money comes from a $3.8 million grant from the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission.
The area extends from Amelia County to Halifax County, then east to Southampton County.