Residents living in the northern portion of rural Loudoun can expect to gain internet access by next year—if they express an interest in that.
All Points Broadband and the Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative announced a partnership Tuesday that will extend fiber optic service to more than 1,000 homes in northern Loudoun by building off the cooperative’s existing fiber network. To make that happen, eligible residents, who will receive letters in the mail by Sept. 15, will need to express their desire in the project by signing up at fiber.allpointsbroadband.com.
All Points CEO Jimmy Carr said the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the timeline to announce that project.
During the announcement at Lovettsville’s Walker Pavilion, County Chair Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large) emphasized that providing more Loudouners with broadband access is critical because public school students will be learning from home for at least to start the school year, and then perhaps mostly from home for the remainder of the school year.
“Education is the way up and the way out,” she said, noting that quality learning can’t happen without internet access these days.
Supervisor Caleb Kershner (R-Catoctin), who noted Tuesday that NOVEC provides his rural home with electricity, said bringing broadband to western Loudoun is his office’s number-one priority.
“It’s time to get our residents in western Loudoun the coverage they need to exist,” he said.
Del. Dave LaRock (R-33) suggested that the extended broadband coverage would eventually extend outside the boundaries All Points and the cooperative have outlined as part of their new plans.
“Our work is just begun,” he said.
Sen. John Bell (D-13) agreed and added that internet speed correlates to economic development speed.
“This should be the start, not the finish,” he said.
Carr and other local and state leaders present at Tuesday’s announcement stressed to residents that they should contact All Points as soon as they can.
“There’s really no reason to wait,” Carr said.
Lovettsville Mayor Nate Fontaine, who said serveral new homeowners in town have contacted him to ask about internet access, said the partnership is “very exciting and life-changing.”