ISPs challenge Orange County broadband grant requests

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ORANGE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Three grant requests that aim to bring broadband Internet access to unserved rural parts of Orange County have been challenged.

According to the Orange County Broadband Authority, all three of its Virginia Telecommunications Initiative grant requests have been challenged by Internet service providers.

Under the grant process through the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, businesses that claim to serve proposed grant areas can challenge such applications.

Such challenges must claim to provide service to at least ten percent of the proposed grant area.

The first project area, which has been challenged by Comcast and Virginia Broadband, is near Barboursville.

It would include the construction of a fiber to provide service to homes and businesses along Albano Road, Angus Road, Bluie West One, Burnley Road, Dogwood Lane, Evergreen Avenue, Hamm Road, Haney Drive, Harvest Lane, Popular Meadow Lane, Ridge Road, Scuffletown Road, part of Spotswood Trail, Taylorsville Road, Tisdale Road, Vineyard Lane, Wilhoits Mill Road, and Woodroof Road.

Comcast also challenged the second grant request that would put in fiber between Orange and Culpeper counties along Route 15.

Orange County says this project would install a middle mile fiber route along James Madison Highway that would extend 18 miles.

It would serve schools, vocational training facilities, businesses, health care facilities, state agencies, and homes in Orange County as well as increase access to homes and home-based businesses in Culpeper County that are in areas the Federal Communications Commission has designated as unserved and underserved.

Virginia Broadband has challenged the third grant request, which would serve the Mine Run and Burr Hill areas.

Homes along Beech Drive, Burr Hill Road, Catharpin Road, Cecela Lane, College Drive, Dulin Drive, Enchanted Way, Fieldstone Way, part of Germanna Highway, Gold Dale Road, Gordon Farm Road, Grasty Gold-Mine Road, Indiantown Road, Jackson Court, Keifers Ridge Road, Laural Canyon Boulevard, Mine Run Road, Morel Way, Old Plank Road, part of Old Office, Orchard Street, Paynes Farm Road, Spotswood Drive, Walker Hollow Way, Walnut Ridge Way, Wilderness Farms Road, Williams Flank Road, and Zoar Road are included in this request's area.

The Orange County Broadband Authority says it is working on its response to these challenges.

It asks anyone who has a home or business in the areas described who is interested in participating in a broadband survey to click on the link in the Related Links box.

For more information or to comment about existing access to broadband service, send an email to Broadband Program Manager Lewis Foster at by Oct. 29.

For further information on the grant requests, click on the links in the Related Links box and the Related Stories box.

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