Pulaski County was awarded a $40,000 grant from DHCD’s Virginia Telecommunications Planning Initiative (VATPI) to develop a community telecommunications plan to improve broadband connectivity, capacity and availability. The plan will serve as a road map for the community for a telecommunications infrastructure that will spur improvements in educational opportunities, medical services, economic development, and overall quality of life. The scope of work will include:
- a needs assessment and data mapping;
- education development strategies and end-user applications;
- last mile connectivity solutions with preliminary engineering design and cost estimates;
- organizational and network options;
- funding strategies for future implementation; and
- a report with recommendations on implementing plan for phased, enhanced broadband infrastructure to improve bandwidth, accessibility and coverage in underserved and unserved areas of the County.
Pulaski County will host a facilitated strategy planning session in January. Members of the combined committees, County staff and Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development representatives will meet to develop a project work program and timeline. The County also will solicit professional expertise (through an RFP) to assist with plan development working in conjunction with the combined committees and the community. Input from the committees, community and existing providers will be important for this project to be successful and for future implementation of the plan developed.