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Facebook to extend its fiber network across households in Virginia

Facebook to extend its fiber network across households in Virginia

Facebook Inc. has reportedly greenlit a new project that will introduce broadband service across thousands of households in Virginia in collaboration with a local utility and ISP company.

The project commenced with fiber networks the company was already constructing to connect its data centers across North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia. With that fiber already in place, Facebook collaborated with GigaBeam Networks and Appalachian Power to extend the networks to approximately 6,000 households in Grayson County, Virginia. The homes are expected to receive access to high-speed broadband by the end of this fall.

Michele Kohler, the Network Investments Team Manager at Facebook, stated that the company is trying to solve very complicated issues and over 19 million underserved or unserved people are testament to these complexities. Kohler added that Facebook is figuring out ways to help people get connected faster with these complex partnerships.

Facebook is offering technical as well as engineering resources to the collaborating companies. The proposed network would use a new regulation approved by the legislature of Virginia in 2020, that enables communications and electric companies to string fiber alongside current conduits and poles.

However, these networks have an unclear future as utility firms like Rappahannock Electric Cooperative have been prosecuted by property owners for violating their property rights when they are looking to invoke new provisions.

The company’s announcement comes months after Ralph Northam (D), the Governor of Virginia, stated that the state would be investing around USD 700 million from the American Rescue Plan to attain universal connectivity across Virginia by 2024.

The President of the United States, Joe Biden, inked the COVID-19 relief package last March, offering the state over USD 4 billion in relief, with the money being used for supporting universal connectivity.

Regarding the plans of Facebook, Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) stated that people would not be forced to move away to cities for finding good quality jobs with this level of high-speed connectivity.

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Sunil Jha

Sunil Jha has been a part of the content industry for close to two years. Having previously worked as a voice over artist and sportswriter, he now focuses on writing articles for, across a slew of topics, ranging from technology to trade and finance. With a business-oriented educational background, Sunil brings forth the expertise of deep-dive research and a strategic approach in his write ups.