FCC looking to expand access to high speed internet in rural areas

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Many Virginians still live in areas that don't have access to high speed internet, but the FCC is looking to change that.

Currently more than 85-thousand Virginia homes and businesses don't have access to high speed internet, but they are now eligible to receive funding from the FCC. It's part of the FCC's Connect America Fund.

The goal is to expand access to broadband in areas where the service is unavailable. Nationwide, providers will compete for up to 2 billion dollars in funding to expand high speed internet into these rural areas.

Through a "reverse auction" new internet providers will be able to enter the marketplace in hopes of providing customers cost-effective broadband. Since 2011, the Connect America Fund has helped over 4 million homes and small businesses

The Connect America Fund would be able to help 2,546 people in Amherst, 1,700 people in Appomattox, nearly 1,400 people in Halifax, almost 2,500 people in Pittsylvania County, and more than 3,000 people in Bedford.

Those companies will compete in an auction for up to 2 billion dollars in funding this spring.