The OCBA borrowed from the Virginia Pooled Financing Program (VPFP) in the 2021A Pool - $15.83 million for 15 years – to fund expansion of its broadband network.
In 2017, the OCBA began installing its core network in response to local needs. The OCBA surveyed residents, finding that a majority of them have inadequate speeds or no access to broadband. Initially, the OCBA installed 33 miles of fiber optic cable, later adding 58 additional miles. To bridge the gap between the survey and the timing of this project funded through the VPFP, the County used $2 million in CARES Act funding to set up 13 wireless hotspot locations throughout the County as an interim solution to provide connectivity.
The proposed project, which is to install an additional 125 miles of cable, will reach over 4,500 potential new connections that are currently without service. The proposed project will allow the County to provide this service to residents and businesses, improving the quality of life and making the area more attractive for development.
The County's appreciation to VRA was expressed in comments made by Jim White, Orange County Broadband Authority Chairman and member of the Orange County Board of Supervisors, “Thank you for assisting us with this critical piece of our plan to expand broadband to the families of Orange County. Your team was great to work with. The results will allow us to execute our aggressive roll-out plans.”