Floyd County has long enjoyed fast, reliable broadband Internet service thanks to Citizens Telephone Cooperative’s leadership in deploying high-speed data services in the region.

Now Citizens has a grant to expand and improve broadband service in a seven-county region — primarily underserved areas of Wythe, Pulaski, Floyd, Giles, Montgomery, Roanoke and Botetourt counties.

The $11.5 million grant from NITA will provde an 186-mile data route with 200 gibabytes per second and eight primary interconnection points positions to provide service to unserved and/or underserved areas and to tie into other open access networks.

“The impact and opportunities this joint venture will provide on these rural communities by allowing them to gain access to high quality, high speed and affordable networks is paramount,” Citizens Assistant General Manager Dennis Reece says in a press release from the company.

Citizens say the expansion will serve more than 50 “community anchor” institutions — including Virginia Tech, Radford University, New River Community College along with public safety entities, healthcare facilities and government centers.

Not bad for our little local telephone co-op.

(My thanks to Citizens Telephone General Manager Greg Sapp for a heads-up on this news)

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