Mid-Atlantic Broadband Cooperative – Southern Virginia

Middle Mile Expansion for Southern Virginia

The Middle Mile Expansion for Southern Virginia project proposes to add 465 miles of new fiber to an existing 800-mile fiber network, focused on directly connecting 121 K-12 schools, a majority of which are in unserved and underserved areas of southern Virginia. The expanded fiber network expects to improve connection speeds for these schools from 1.5 Mbps to at least 10 Mbps, with a goal of 100 Mbps. The new fiber connections are expected to allow these schools, many in isolated areas, to take advantage of distance learning and virtual classroom opportunities. The service area includes 12 counties in Southern Virginia, and includes the cities of Danville, Emporia, and Martinsville near the North Carolina border.

Total Award: 
BTOP In Action
Construction along Route 40, Mount Airy, Virginia

In March 2011, the Mid-Atlantic Broadband Cooperative (MBC) began construction on 422 miles of new fiber-optic infrastructure. MBC’s project, Middle Mile Expansion for Southern Virginia, is expanding an existing 800-mile network to connect approximately 120 K-12 schools, many in isolated areas.

MBC’s Southern Virginia project, encompassing 16 counties, is proceeding rapidly. At the end of August 2011, the project was already halfway done, with 212 miles of new fiber laid, along with two of four interconnection points completed. Additionally, in August, the school districts of Franklin County and Cumberland County opened their doors to K-12 students with classrooms equipped, for the first time, with high-speed Internet access. This new network is helping these schools enhance their educational curriculums to better meet the needs of today’s students. Cumberland County schools, for example, have gone from 45 Mbps to 100 Mbps, which allows video streaming without buffering, enhances online collaboration, and lays the foundation for virtual classrooms.

BTOP funds have allowed MBC to engage five contracting firms, which have hired 98 workers for construction crews. In addition, MBC has hired six people for various headquarters positions.

Last Updated: February 1, 2012

Reports and Documents
Award Documents