Warren County took another step on Tuesday to help spread broadband to unserved areas in the community.
All Points Broadband Partners LLC requested that supervisors adopt a resolution electing to continue its participation into the second phase of the initiative and to authorize an application for financial assistance.
The Board of Supervisors voted 4-0 to adopt the resolution to move forward into Phase II of the project. Chairwoman Cheryl L. Cullers, Vice Chairman Archie A. Fox and supervisors Walter J. Mabe and Delores R. Oates voted in favor of the motion. Supervisor Tony F. Carter did not attend the meeting.
Jimmy Carr, chief executive officer for All Points Broadband, gave a presentation to the board.
The total cost of the project is $19.7 million, of which All Points Broadband Partners LLC would pay $6.9 million, or 35%. All Points Broadband would apply for an additional $6.9 million in grant funds through the Virginia Telecommunications Initiative, administered by the Department of Housing and Community Development. The county would need to pay $6.9 million for its share of the project cost, contingent upon the state’s award of the grant to All Points Broadband. The county would cover its share of the cost with funds allocated through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
The project calls for 279 miles of fiber-optic cable and related infrastructure that would allow providers to offer broadband internet service to unserved areas of the county. The service would provide users up to 10 gigabytes per second.
“We believe, at All Points Broadband, that what we’re doing today, in partnership with the electric utilities is the same type of thing that was happening 80 to 100 years ago with the electrification of the countryside,” Carr said. “It’s a very similar paradigm and our approach to doing this is to do it once, to do it the right way for the long-term and to include everyone.”
Customers interested in subscribing to the service would pay a one-time installation fee of $199 that includes equipment and connection costs.
Supervisors voted in late July to approve a Phase I agreement that allowed partners to apply for regional funding from the 2022 Virginia Telecommunications Initiative. Electric power utilities and cooperatives, local governments, the Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission and All Points Broadband are involved in the initiative with the state.
Virginia-based All Points Broadband also operates in Kentucky, Maryland and West Virginia.
Also at the meeting, supervisors voted to:
• Grant a request by the Northern Shenandoah Valley Chapter of Coming to the Table to use the lawn of the Warren County Courthouse for a display of flags, a sign and a literature box with brochures from Sept. 25 to Oct. 9 to recognize and honor the formerly enslaved people of Warren County.
• Approve the allocation of $15,000 to the Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission for appraisal work on the Shenandoah Rail Trail Exploratory Project. The proposed trail would extend from the town of Broadway to the Veterans of Foreign Wars park in Front Royal. The appraisal work is needed to begin negotiations with Norfolk Southern Railroad Corporation to acquire property for the conversion to a trail. Rockingham, Shenandoah and Warren counties will contribute $15,000 each to the $60,000 project, with the remaining $15,000 donated from private sources.
• Award an $86,700 contract to replace the roof of the terminal at the Front Royal-Warren County Airport. The county received a grant from the Virginia Department of Aviation to cover 78% of eligible project costs.
• Enter into an agreement for a Federal Aviation Administration grant of $148,000 for airport improvements.
• Extend a request by Patricia Grove/Grove’s Garage for a conditional-use permit to operate a commercial auto repair garage with a single-family dwelling.
• Approve a request to change the name on a conditional-use permit from Front Royal RV Campground to RV Investments LLC.
• Award a $50 bounty to David T. Jenkins for killing a coyote.