Regional Internet Service Expansion (RISE) Project
Update: October 2021
The RISE project continues to gain momentum in 13 counties in Central Virginia as Firefly partners with county leaders and electric utilities in Albemarle, Amherst, Appomattox, Buckingham, Campbell, Cumberland, Fluvanna, Goochland, Greene, Louisa, Madison, Nelson, and Powhatan counties to realize their goal of providing gigabit-speed fiber internet to all underserved homes and businesses.
The pandemic has highlighted the need for internet in homes and businesses and these partnerships will further the goal for counties in Central Virginia to access to reliable, high-speed internet, thus closing the digital divide and meeting the needs for digital equity. Many urban households have had the benefit of access to broadband for over a decade, while its rural neighbors struggle to achieve remote learning and working, higher education, telemedicine, business expansion, and to engage with the outside world for entertainment and news.
In partnership with Dominion Energy Virginia, Rappahannock Electric, and the 13 counties listed above, Firefly is seeking Virginia state grant funding to help support the $300 million project. Results of the award application will be announced in December 2021 and, if successful, funding will be dispersed monthly, beginning in Spring 2022, to connect homes and businesses in unserved areas who meet do not currently have 25/3 available. Residents within these counties who do not fall under the RISE Project area may be eligible to receive service as Firefly continues to expand its footprint.
The RISE project build will take approximately three years and will include 5,000 miles of fiber construction and 45,000 passings.
Firefly understands the scope of this project may impact thousands of Virginians who want and need a faster, more reliable, internet connection. Stay apprised of the latest updates to this project by visiting our RISE Project page at: https://www.fireflyva.com/rise/.