Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation (MBC) Awarded $16.4 Million from NTIA to extend middle mile network
Funds will support eight projects to expand open-access network infrastructure in Virginia
September 6, 2023, South Boston, Virginia – Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation (MBC) is proud to announce that it has been awarded a significant grant of $16.4 million from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) Middle Mile Program. This grant is aimed at funding the construction of over 130 miles of open-access middle mile fiber network, which will span across 12 localities in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Additionally, this groundbreaking project is being bolstered by $5 million in matching funds from GO Virginia, a state-funded initiative administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) that strengthens and diversifies Virginia’s economy and fosters the creation of higher wage jobs in strategic industries.
Middle mile fiber refers to the network infrastructure of high-capacity fiber optic cables that connect internet service providers (ISPs) to larger data centers and internet exchange points, facilitating the efficient and fast transfer of data between different regions and ISPs. It acts as the backbone of the internet, enabling ISPs to offer reliable and high-speed internet connections to their customers.
The primary objective of this ambitious initiative is to accelerate the development of critical broadband infrastructure and address the digital divide in the region. The strategic implementation of open-access middle mile fiber will pave the way for enhanced economic development opportunities and improved access to last mile broadband providers, carriers, and other internet service providers (ISPs).
“At its core, the GO Virginia mission has always been that of building strong partnerships and building on the strengths of regional collaboration in service of delivering a thriving and diverse economy here in the Commonwealth. It’s no secret that broadband connectivity for Virginia’s citizens and businesses will be a key driving factor in delivering on the promise of economic growth and prosperity across all regions of the state,” said Nancy Howell Agee, Chair of the GO Virginia State Board. “GO Virginia is proud partner with MBC and NTIA in this monumental effort that will only strengthen Virginia’s competitive position as the best place to live, work, and raise a family.”
“We are absolutely thrilled and deeply honored to be a part of this transformative project, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with our electric cooperatives, ISPs, and other telecom providers,” exclaimed Tad Deriso, President & CEO of MBC. “The substantial infrastructure investment in middle mile fiber by the NTIA and GO Virginia represents a remarkable triumph for rural Virginia, as it paves the way for significant strides in bridging the digital divide and attracting more economic development investments to the region. MBC has a proven track record of executing fiber infrastructure projects on time and within budget, and we eagerly anticipate collaborating with our funding partners, our telecom provider customers, and the communities involved to make this project a resounding success.”
MBC’s extensive network of open-access middle-mile fiber in the Commonwealth of Virginia is poised to have a transformative impact on multiple regions. The project boasts several notable aspects, including the extension of new, diverse middle-mile-mile backbone routes that will be established in 12 localities, enabling last mile broadband providers to reach underserved areas in the Counties of Cumberland, Dinwiddie, Greensville, Goochland, Louisa, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Nottoway, Prince Edward, Prince George, Sussex and the City of Petersburg.
Furthermore, this ambitious initiative will connect over 32 industrial and business parks with diverse fiber infrastructure. Key economic development sites including the Mid-Atlantic Advanced Manufacturing Center (MAMaC) in Greensville County, the Sussex Megasite, the Shannon Hill Regional Business Park in Louisa County, the Advanced Pharmaceutical Manufacturing (APM) Cluster in Petersburg and the Heartland Innovative Technology (HIT) Park in Prince Edward County will be connected to this expansive network.
By strategically expanding the middle mile infrastructure to these communities, MBC aims to foster economic growth, attract businesses, and empower local communities with improved access to broadband and advanced digital services.
For more information about this project, visit https://mbc-va.com/2023-middle-mile-grant-expansion.
Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation (MBC) is a 501(c)(4) non-profit middle mile broadband provider committed to driving technological advancement and the socioeconomic progress of Southern Virginia. Through the operation of over 2,300 miles of open-access fiber optic network, MBC provides wholesale optical transport, dark fiber, and colocation services to carriers, ISPs, data centers, and other telecom providers. MBC’s strategic presence in major internet peering exchange points is instrumental in significantly reducing the time and cost for telecom providers to reach their customers in rural Virginia markets, helping to bridge the digital divide and empowering underserved areas with reliable connectivity. MBC’s robust infrastructure serves as a catalyst for job creation, playing a pivotal role in attracting data centers, advanced manufacturing, and other major commercial investments to the region. To learn more about MBC, please visit www.mbc-va.com.
Senior Marketing Manager
Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation