Project Summary

 

The “Connect Blackwater” project will link Blackwater to the LENOWISCO regional fiber optic backbone network.  LENOWISCO, INC. owns and operates the fiber optic infrastructure.  Sunset Digital Communications and others help to provide support services. 

The “Connect Blackwater” project will utilize a fiber optic service delivery system network to provide broadband internet service to the Blackwater Volunteer Fire Department, homes, businesses, and a new Blackwater Community Computer Center.  The “Connect Blackwater” project also includes the development of this website.

The new Blackwater Community Computer Center will be located in the same building as the Blackwater Post Office.  The “Connect Blackwater” project will provide free access to broadband internet at the new computer center.  The computer center will offer free training workshops on computers and internet to residents. 

The total “Connect Blackwater” project cost is $884,600.  A grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides $759,600 for the project.  The remaining $125,000 of funding for the “Connect Blackwater” project was provided by the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Revitalization Commission.

 

Overall Connect Blackwater  Project Objectives: 

1.  Install fiber optic cables in project area 

2.  Establish a community computer center  

3.  Hook-up critical community facilities

4.  Hook-up homes and businesses 

5.  Create and maintain a Blackwater website 

6.  Provide computer/Internet training

 

1.  INSTALL FIBER OPTIC CABLES IN PROJECT AREA

The unincorporated village of Blackwater is a small, rural community in Lee County, Virginia.  The Connect Blackwater project will expand the LENOWISCO Rural Area Network fiber optic backbone regional infrastructure to deploy affordable broadband in the Blackwater area, an area where broadband is unavailable. 

2.  ESTABLISH A COMMUNITY COMPUTER CENTER

 

A contract has been issued to acquire the other side of the building in Blackwater where the U. S. Post office is housed for a new computer access center.  The new computer center will have new state-of-the-art equipment at no cost for public use.

3.  HOOK-UP CRITICAL COMMUNITY FACILITIES 

The project will provide free broadband service to two critical community facilities: the Blackwater Volunteer Fire Department and the Blackwater Community Computer Center.

4.  HOOK-UP HOMES AND BUSINESSES  

The Connect Blackwater project will provide broadband connections to at least 20 homes and 5 businesses. 

5.  Create and maintain a Blackwater website  

As part of the Connect Blackwater project, local residents will help develop a Blackwater community website.  By giving stories and/or pictures the residents will be taking part as well as giving ideas and suggestions. 

6.  PROVIDE COMPUTER/INTERNET TRAINING 

Residents will be able to join training classes for free to learn different subjects ranging from computer training to digital photography.

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