QUINCY, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Breezeline, formerly Atlantic Broadband, the nation’s eighth-largest cable operator, today announced construction has commenced on a $7.2 million, 150-mile initiative that will extend the availability of broadband internet to more than 1,400 homes and businesses in Mathews, Caroline, Lancaster and Middlesex counties with first activations beginning as early as May of this year.
The project, which will bring Breezeline’s ultra-high-speed fiber technology to residents in the four counties, is funded through a $4.2 million Virginia Telecommunication Initiative (VATI) grant administered by the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). Breezeline is contributing $1.5 million towards the project, with the remaining $1.5 million supported by the counties. The first homes will be activated through this initiative beginning in May 2022, with the project scheduled for completion by Jan. 30, 2023. A formal contract was executed with DHCD on July 30, 2021.
“We’ve completed design and pre-construction activities and are now excited to begin the construction phase of this initiative that will bring best-in-class fiber connectivity to homes and businesses in the four counties,” said William T. Newborg, Director of Grants and Funding for Breezeline. “We are grateful to our community partners in helping us reach this latest milestone.”
During the construction phase, Breezeline crews will access underground and aerial utility easements, which can be located on residential properties. Breezeline will notify residents of activity in their neighborhoods with door hangers and will work to minimize any disruption from the underground work. The door hangers will include a phone number and email for residents in the event that they have questions about the construction activities.
Once the construction phase is complete, the communities will have access to an exceptional online experience for distance learning, work-from-home, telehealth, gaming and more. Breezeline representatives will be visiting homes in the project areas once the construction phase is complete to discuss service offerings. Door hangers also will be left with contact information for those wishing to activate Breezeline services.
The initiative is one of multiple private-public broadband partnerships that Breezeline has pursued to expand the reach of broadband across its service areas. With support from the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (also known as the CARES Act), and other partnerships, Breezeline Broadband has completed additional expansion projects in Middlesex, Caroline and King George counties in Virginia, St. Mary’s and Queen Anne’s counties in Maryland, and Wolfeboro, New Hampshire.
Cogeco US, operating as Breezeline, a subsidiary of Cogeco Communications Inc. (TSX: CCA), is the eighth-largest cable operator in the United States. The company provides its residential and business customers with Internet, TV and Voice services in 12 states: Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. Cogeco Communications Inc. also operates in Québec and Ontario, in Canada, under the Cogeco Connexion name. Cogeco Inc.’s subsidiary, Cogeco Media, owns and operates 23 radio stations serving audiences across the province of Québec, as well as a news agency.