The 2021 Albemarle project proposal, which would provide fiber to homes and businesses in 11 parts of the county, will cost approximately $5.7 million. CenturyLink is contributing nearly $1.4 million and the Albemarle County Broadband Authority is contributing $640,000. The 11 sections include Boonesville, Gilbert Station Road, Jones Mill Road, Campbell/ Cobham, Snow Hill Lane, Jarmans Gap, Bucks Elbow, Milton Hills, Box Holly / Taylors Gap, Advance Mills / Fray Road, Tilman Road / Meriweather Hill and Old Garth Heights.
The funding announcement will happen late this year or early next year.
Earlier this year, the authority put out a request for proposals to partner with internet service providers to expand service to unserved and underserved homes and businesses. Culp said they are still in negotiation, and it’s likely they can leverage some of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or CARES Act of 2020 Coronavirus Relief Fund money for the project.
“We have to wait until those negotiations are finished and then the next big thing will be a notification, meaning we have to be cautious as well as participatory with the school division since they’re part of the process,” Culp said. “So, the messaging that both ABBA, the Board of Supervisors and the school division provide to the community have to be practically, if not the same.”