Research & Development/Last Mile Broadband

For resources to support a locality, PDC, ISP, or citizens interested in expanding broadband in their community, please go to:


For more than a decade, the objective of the Research and Development program was to support post proof-of-concept research within Southern and Southwest Virginia that had a high likelihood of moving into a commercialization stage with accompanying job creation and private sector capital investment, also within those regions. The R&D Committee has now shifted its focus to supporting deployment of robust broadband services to premises within the region. To learn more about R&D commercialization projects previously funded by the Commission, please contact our Staff.

Please note that the Commission is no longer accepting non-broadband R&D program applications



Last Mile Broadband Program

In 2017 the R&D Committee approved the use of up to $10 million as a multi-year commitment to assist in constructing “last-mile” broadband telecommunications infrastructure in unserved areas of the Region. In March 2018, the Committee made awards totaling more than $11 million as grant incentives to localities and qualified experienced private sector broadband providers working in partnership, to assist with up to 50% of construction costs.  Those nine projects, listed in the link below, will serve more than 31,500 homes, businesses and anchor institutions.

Last Mile Broadband Awards 3/8/18

The Committee subsequently committed an additional $7.9 million to 14 new projects in a second round of project grant and loan funding. Full proposals were due March 21, 2019, and were acted on at the June 2019 Commission meetings.

FY19 Last Mile Broadband Staff Summaries and Recommendations 5-31-19 

FY19 Last Mile Awards 6/6/19

The next round of Last Mile Broadband is not yet determined.  Contact Commission Staff for further information.




Other Programs

Special Projects

Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund

Southwest and Southside Economic Development