Stafford Awarded $3.4 Million VATI Grant for Project with Comcast

January 19, 2022 - Stafford and Comcast have partnered on a $5.7 million project to bring high-speed internet to more than 600 unserved or underserved homes in the western part of Stafford County. The project was made possible by a $3.4 million Virginia Telecommunications Initiative Grant (VATI), the winners of which were announced recently. The value of the awards was expanded this year in an effort by the Commonwealth of Virginia to achieve universal coverage in the state.

“This is the largest VATI grant we have received to date, and it will help us greatly in our continuing efforts to tackle the digital divide,” said Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Crystal Vanuch. “We’ve worked with Comcast for years, and we are confident their expertise will ensure this project is successful.”

The area of the broadband expansion includes the Hartwood and Rock Hill election districts in Stafford County. The $5.7 million project incorporatesAttachment 1 - Project Area map the $3.4 million VATI Grant, a $1.5 million Stafford County match, with the balance from Comcast. The winners of the grant were just announced. Once Stafford finalizes a contract with the state and a contract with Comcast, the term of completion for the project will be 18 months.

“We are proud to continue our investment in Virginia – which to date equates to billions of dollars across the state to expand our fiber-rich network and bring our services to unserved areas to connect more residents and businesses in need of broadband,” said Misty Allen, Vice President of Government and Regulatory Affairs for Comcast’s Beltway Region. “Technology is a powerful driver of innovation, entrepreneurship and economic growth, and we’re committed to helping individuals and communities fully participate in the digital economy.”

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, Stafford worked to bring broadband to the unserved and underserved. Stafford applied for a VATI Grant in 2019 for a project facilitated in 2020 – an $874,478 partnership with KGI Communications to bring fixed wireless internet to 647 homes in Marlborough Point, Widewater Road, Widewater Beach and 100 homes in King George.

The County also received $525,000 in Virginia CARES Fast Track Broadband funding to partner with KGI Communications to extend service into the western part of the County. Additionally, Stafford used CARES Act funding from the federal government to expand service along part of Courthouse Road and a partnership with AER Wireless to provide service to three communities in the western part of the County.

About Comcast Corporation

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