Cable operator Breezeline (formerly Atlantic Broadband) on March 3 announced that construction has commenced on a $7.2 million, 150-mile fiber expansion initiative that will extend the availability of broadband internet to more than 1,400 homes and businesses in Virginia's Mathews, Caroline, Lancaster and Middlesex counties with first activations beginning as early as May of this year.
The project, which will bring Breezeline’s ultra-high-speed fiber technology to residents in the four counties, is funded through a $4.2 million Virginia Telecommunication Initiative (VATI) grant administered by the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).
Breezeline is contributing $1.5 million towards the project, with the remaining $1.5 million supported by the counties.
The operator said the first homes will be activated through this initiative beginning in May 2022, with the project scheduled for completion by Jan. 30, 2023. A formal contract was executed with DHCD on July 30, 2021.
Public-private fiber broadband partnerships a breeze for Breezeline
The initiative is one of multiple public-private broadband partnerships that Breezeline has pursued to expand the reach of broadband across its service areas.
With support from the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (also known as the CARES Act), and other partnerships, Breezeline Broadband notes it has completed additional expansion projects in Middlesex, Caroline and King George counties in Virginia, St. Mary’s and Queen Anne’s counties in Maryland, and Wolfeboro, New Hampshire.
“We’ve completed design and pre-construction activities and are now excited to begin the construction phase of this initiative that will bring best-in-class fiber connectivity to homes and businesses in the four counties,” said William T. Newborg, director of grants and funding for Breezeline. “We are grateful to our community partners in helping us reach this latest milestone.”