On April 11, 2023, Senator Mark Warner visited Botetourt County to talk about broadband installation efforts in the county. The discussion celebrated the completion of the Virginia Telecommunications Initiative 1 (VATI1) grant which was a partnership with Lumos totaling $1,364,337 bringing fiber to 548 addresses, including 30 businesses.
During the event, the VATI2 build was launched which will bring service to 1,901 addresses in the county. When this build is complete in early 2024, Botetourt County will have received universal broadband coverage, meaning that all residents and businesses have access to reliable internet service with speeds that meet or exceed the current federal definition of broadband service.
Over 50 people were in attendance, including elected officials, County administration, Lumos representatives, citizens, and community partners. Several citizens, including Bank of Botetourt President and COO Michelle Austin and Beaverdam Farm Sunflower Festival organizer Candace Monaghan shared how broadband has changed their lives. They both previously had to get internet access through wireless hotspots and MiFi devices but now they are able to connect to broadband access which has been a game changer for their families and their businesses.
“Broadband is top of mind for our entire community. During these challenging times, access and affordability are more critical considerations than ever before, however, we’re making the right moves and starting to really reap the rewards,” says Botetourt County Administrator Gary Larrowe. “I’d like to personally thank everyone in the community for their patience and support as we all continue to work together to address this exceptionally important priority of broadband deployment in Botetourt County. I would also like to thank our partners at Lumos for their diligent work to improve the lives of our residents, businesses, and visitors by connecting them to reliable internet service.”
Once the universal coverage broadband project is complete, Lumos will have over 1,250 miles of fiber in Botetourt County! That would be enough miles to travel from Botetourt County to Oklahoma City (1,115 miles), with 135 miles left over!
Photos from the event will be posted to the county’s social media sites. Follow the county’s broadband journey at www.botetourtva.gov/broadband