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County no longer first for broadband

Last fall, Charlotte County officials learned that construction of infrastructure to provide broadband internet for the county could start as early as this year.

A Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Connect America Fund grant in the amount of $6,359,724 for rural broadband is expected to supply service to 2,567 locations throughout the county.

RiverStreet Networks representative Robert Taylor told the Board of Supervisors (BOS) during a September 2019 meeting Charlotte County was first on the company’s list to provide internet as part of the Connect America Fund.

That has since changed, and it is uncertain as to when construction will begin.

According to Taylor, Charlotte is no longer number one on RiverStreet’s list. The company has moved Pittsylvania to the top of its list.

“Once we went back and started the process, the operations and engineering people said it made more sense to start in Pittsylvania County where we had a core network and build that network out versus starting in Charlotte County and building back towards it.” Taylor said.

According to Taylor, RiverStreet has nine counties across a Southern part of Virginia they will be supplying broadband to.

The FCC requires that RiverStreet supply broadband to those counties within the next six years.

RiverStreet Networks, based in North Carolina, specializes in last-mile broadband service and installing broadband in rural areas with low population density.