Goochland County believes broadband internet access is essential for our community to support business, education endeavors, public safety, and everyday life.
Goochland County and Goochland County Public Schools pledges to continue our efforts to expand broadband internet access in partnership with GCPS as well as with our private provider partners.
Below are a few updates and highlights of those efforts:
- With the support of the Goochland County Board of Supervisors, every GCPS student from grades preschool to twelve will begin the school year with their own device. Preschool through 8th grade received an iPad and 9-12th grade students received MacBook’s.
- Goochland County and Goochland County Public Schools partnered to install fiber to Byrd Elementary School.
GCPS ensures that every teacher, administrator, and instructional assistant is provided an Apple device for their professional use.
- Installed (13) external WIFI hotspot locations at multiple County and school buildings including fire stations, all schools, the Administration Building, Library, and Central High School.
GCPS is providing Kajeet mobile hotspots to all students and staff who request a device due to the need for high speed internet
- Goochland High School robotics students have built four mobile Wi-Fi units to be deployed across the County. Locations include Hidden Rock Park, Chief Cornerstone Baptist Church, and Second Union Baptist Church
Pursuing partnerships with local businesses, faith-based institutions, and organizations who are willing to make their hotspots available to the public. All publicly available hotspot locations will be published to ensure community access and awareness.
In addition to the immediate solutions mentioned above, Goochland County has also partnered with service providers, offered matching funds, and applied for multiple grants in an effort to provide broadband accessibility to residents including:
- Expanded the partnership with CVEC and their wholly owned subsidiary Firefly Broadband. CVEC was awarded a USDA Reconnect Phase 1 grant that will expand fiber to the premise for 583 locations. Applied in April for the USDA Reconnect Phase 2 grant. Grant award anticipated this fall. If awarded, this could lead to the expansion of fiber-to-the-premise for 1,547 locations in western and central Goochland. CVEC/Firefly Fiber Broadband has also received Connect American Fund Phase II funds that will extend fiber to the premise for 561 locations in western Goochland. In total this would extend fiber to 2.691 locations in western and central Goochland.
- Submitted two separate Virginia Telecommunication Initiative (VATI) 2021 grant applications – one with CVEC/Firefly and the other with Port 80 Internet Services, LLC. The VATI 2021 program is anticipated to announce awards in late 2020 and early 2021. If this grant was awarded the CVEC/Firefly portion would serve 1,547 locations and the Port 80 would serve 774.
Developed a survey tool that residents can use to report speed tests – test results that are important to both the County and potential service providers as we consider future grant opportunities and broadband efforts. The link to that survey is as follows: https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/e588f0648532474f9cd56b2fec6e5753