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US utilities Dominion Energy and the Prince George Electric Cooperative (PGEC) have partnered to offer broadband connectivity to rural consumers.

The utilities will expand broadband access in the Commonwealth to 4,500 customers of Dominion and 2,200 customers of PGEC in Surry county.

The partnership is said to the first-of-kind in Virginia and is the first created through the Grid Transformation & Security Act of 2018 and legislation introduced by delegate Israel O’Quinn in 2019.

Dominion Energy will serve as the “middle mile” provider by allowing RURALBAND, a wholly-owned subsidiary of PGEC, to lease fibre and provide last-mile Fiber To The Home service.

The project will be filed with the State Corporation Commission later this year for regulatory approval.

Providing broadband services to customers falls under efforts by Dominion Energy to modernise its grid network by leveraging fibre communications infrastructure.

Ed Baine, senior vice president of power delivery for Dominion Energy Virginia, said: “Access will support economic development and social equity while simultaneously promoting numerous public benefits and educational opportunities for citizens of the Commonwealth.”

“This partnership brings rural Surry County into the modern communications age, bridging a vital utility gap through reliable high-speed broadband services to residents and businesses, essential to Surry’s social and economic prosperity,” said Melissa Rollins, Acting County Administrator, Surry County.

For more information about the project visit: http://www.dominionenergy.com/ruralbroadband