Broadband in Madison County

Firefly Fiber BroadbandSM, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Central Virginia Electric Cooperative, and Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC) have partnered to advance a rural fiber-to-the home project that aims to deliver fiber-optic broadband service to unserved households and businesses, subject to regulatory and funding approvals.

Broadband Updates

Update as of 3/15/23: MOU was agreed upon between DHCD and Brightspeed (formally Lumen) on the RDOF areas with work to be completed by December 15, 2024. (document below)

Madison issued the letter to DHCD with intent to apply for VATI FY23 and submitted a RFP July 7, 2022. RFP below in supporting documents and due Monday, August 8, 2022.

Firefly gave a presentation at the May 10, 2022 Board of Supervisors meeting. The Presentation is below in the supporting documents.  If a MOU isn't signed by the end of the month from Century Link's challenged areas, their portion will be put back into the Firefly project. 

The proposed guidelines have changed for next round of VATI to include any area that is not receiving 100mbps download and 20 mbps upload speed (100/20). The guidelines were 25/3, so this could affect RDOF award regarding Shentel in the Syria/Etlan/Banco. The BOS has learned that Shentel pulled out of Rappahannock, but not reached out to Madison. County Administrator, Jonathon Weakley will draft a letter to the State regarding intent to request for VATI funds in next round by July 7th. The VATI application is due late August.

The VATI Grant was awarded on December 13, 2021. The only challenge that was contested was Century Link from Greene into Madison area. This work is scheduled to begin in 2022 and finish by 2024. There will be an MOU in the next few months with Century Link.

The Board of Supervisors signed the Resolution with Firefly at the August 24, 2021 meeting. The County hopes to work with REC in the portions of the County not covered by the VATI Grant with other Internet Service Providers, particularly Shentel in areas of the County where they won RDOF auctions to cover.

In July 2021, Issued Press Release regarding a Regional Partnership aiming to bring Fiber Broadband to Madison County with Firefly Fiber Broadband, a wholly-owend subsidiary of Central Virgina Electric Cooperative, and Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC).  They presented before the Board of Supervisors in May and are working on a study of unserved areas of Madison County, with the intent of applying for a Regional VATI Grant in September. The study and possible resolution will be before the Board by the August 24, 2021 meeting.

As of 2016, approximately 60% of students, seniors, job seekers, families, and home businesses in Madison County lacked access to broadband Internet. On December 11, 2018 the Madison County Board of Supervisors approved an application for funding that would have resulted in wireless internet service to portions of the Wolftown, Criglersville, Brightwood and Rochelle communities paid for with grant monies, but that application failed.  In January 2021, the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors appointed a task force with a request for recommendations on how the County should proceed to improving internet and cellular telephone services in the County. Documents reflecting these activities are below.

Broadband Documentation