County-wide Fiber Broadband
How Broadband Coverage is Expanding in Louisa
In 2021, Louisa County finalized a partnership with Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC), Firefly Fiber Broadband (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Central Virginia Electric Cooperative), and Dominion Energy Virginia to ensure high-speed internet access is made available to all of the homes and businesses in the County. The initiative will leverage the existing electrical infrastructure in the County.
(Installation image, Poindexter Road in Louisa County)
Who is Providing the Internet Service?
Firefly is the internet service provider for the partnership and will ensure the availability of fiber broadband on a county-wide basis.
REC will own a fiber network where it delivers electricity in the counties of Louisa, Albemarle, Goochland, Greene, and Madison. Firefly will serve as the internet service provider. This project will also improve reliability and resiliency while modernizing the grid to provide advanced energy solutions.
Dominion Energy is installing fiber in rural areas as it moves forward with efforts to transform Virginia’s energy grid. This fiber capacity can be used for operational needs as well as broadband access, reducing broadband deployment costs for internet service providers. Under the agreement, Firefly will lease the “middle-mile” fiber installed by Dominion Energy in the company’s electric service area in nine counties.
As Firefly is a wholly-owned subsidiary of CVEC, the fiber-optic network will be installed on and adjacent to CVEC electric distribution lines.
I See Work Trucks in My Area ... How Long Until Service is Available?
The first phase in the process is field engineering and once complete, make ready construction crews will move in to make modifications to the poles and change some poles. Following the make ready construction, fiber construction will begin as the fiber optic cable is added to the electric facilities. After that step, splicing will take place and then service extensions will be added. Learn more about the phases of fiber construction.
When Will Service Be Available throughout the County?
In December 2021, $79 million was awarded in Virginia Telecommunication Initiative (VATI) grants to Firefly Fiber Broadband and its partner REC. The funding will support the $288 million project which endeavors to offer universal access to gigabit speed broadband service to 36,000 unserved homes and businesses in 13 counties in Central Virginia, including Louisa. The VATI grants are anticipated to greatly accelerate the Firefly RISE Project which includes 5,000 miles of fiber.
Firefly has made great progress making connections throughout the County to-date, and offers the following construction updates to our citizens. Through this initiative, all homes and businesses in Louisa County are expected to have high-speed access by 2025.
Firefly provided a project update at the November 20, 2023 Board of Supervisors meeting. Highlights from the presentation:
A copy of the presentation is included below.
- Firefly and its partners are still on track to make broadband accessible to all homes and businesses in Louisa County by 2025.
- Project updates can be found at fireflyva.com/partners-louisa/.
- With support from the Board of Supervisors but a zero-dollar requirement from Louisa County, Firefly is pursuing grant funding to bring broadband access to identified unserved locations. These unserved locations, represented by red dots in the presentation images, are in areas formerly believed to have high-speed access or were associated with other special conditions previously.