The Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission (TJPDC) has partnered with Firefly Fiber Broadband (Firefly) to provide access to gigabit high speed internet broadband services for more than 36,000 homes and businesses throughout central Virginia. This project, called the VATI 2022: TJPDC/Firefly – RISE Project, provides universal broadband in 13 counties across five regional planning district regions, to include Albemarle, Amherst, Appomattox, Buckingham, Campbell, Cumberland, Fluvanna, Goochland, Greene, Louisa, Madison, Nelson and Powhatan
In August 2022, the TJPDC entered into an agreement with the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) for a Virginia Telecommunication Initiative (VATI-) funded “super regional” project to make gigabit speed universal broadband service available to locations that qualified as unserved under the 2022 VATI grant program guidelines. The project service area builds off a Central Virginia Electric Cooperative (CVEC) fiber network buildout, with construction supported by federal, state and local funding to reach unserved locations throughout Central Virginia.
The cost of the three-year project totals $288 million, which includes the support of the $79 million VATI grant, as well as $209 million in contributions from the 13 local governments and utility service providers Firefly Fiber Broadband, Dominion Energy and Rappahannock Electric Cooperative. Appalachian Power is also supporting this project by providing their infrastructure for Firefly’s fiber construction in some areas of the project.
As the VATI grant administrator, TJPDC serves as a consistent link between the project, the counties, and the State, while managing the financial and reporting aspects of the project.
Firefly Fiber Broadband is constructing this project.
- Project details, updates, and information about Internet services are available on Firefly’s website.
- Construction Timelines.
- Click on your county seal to follow the project’s progress in your county.
- View more about the construction process.
- Some households may be eligible for a discounted monthly Internet fee through the federal Affordable Connectivity Program.
BY THE NUMBERS
million (project cost)
million (utilities and local match)
million (VATI grant)
homes/businesses to be served
utility service providers
miles of fiber to be constructed
year construction period
TJPDC Applies for VATI 2024 Broadband Funding
To advance the objective of providing universal broadband access to all underserved and unserved areas in Central Virginia, the TJPDC again has partnered with Firefly Fiber Broadband in applying for an additional $15.7 million in 2024 Virginia Telecommunication Initiative (VATI) funding through the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). This funding would support a $53.6 million expansion to our current project with Firefly by building on existing infrastructure, incorporating the Central Virginia Electric Cooperative (CVEC) fiber network, and continuing the collaborative partnerships with Rappahannock Electric Cooperative, Dominion Energy, and county governments.
The goal of the VATI 2024 application is to bring broadband at gigabit speeds to an additional 6,266 newly eligible locations in 11 of the counties included in our current VATI-supported project, including Amherst, Appomattox, Buckingham, Campbell, Cumberland, Fluvanna, Goochland, Greene, Louisa, Madison, and Powhatan counties.