BOTETOURT COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ7) - Another announcement came today in Botetourt County on the effort to get more residents access to reliable internet service.Governor Ralph Northam was in town to applaud the effort that county leaders say will not only support personal internet use but economic growth as well.
In addition to the services the county is working on to bring to residents, officials are also building a data center to attract and retain business.
It started back in 2017 when the county did a study to identify the needs in Botetourt County. Recently, they announced a partnership with the Craig Botetourt Electric Coop. With a $760,000 grant from the Virginia Telecommunications Initiative , funded by the legislature, they'll bring fiber service to 600 homes and 50 businesses in the western and southern parts of Botetourt. The most recent announcement came news ofa contract with Lumos that will bring fiber to the Buchanan area of Botetourt. And now leaders plan to develop a data center in Greenfield to help attract businesses.
Governor Ralph Northam said at the Tuesday announcement that this meets his goal of prioritizing the economy, healthcare and education.
"Unless we have the capacity to educate and provide broadband to these individuals, the businesses aren't gonna come," he said. So this is a very important step."
Governor Northam said he would work to get support for more funding for grants like the one Botetourt is set to receive. He recently was able to get the legislature to support budgeting $19 million for the initiative.
The data center Greenfield will be built in partnership with the Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority. They didn't provide many details about when it might be up and running, but Vice-Chairman of the Botetourt County Board of Supervisors Mac Scothorn said the goal is to be able to invite private sector telecom companies to locate, collaborate and innovate in Botetourt County