Comcast will not partner with Fauquier County after all, to apply for a Virginia Telecommunication Initiative grant to bring broadband to Orlean.
“Comcast has decided that it is not a ‘viable business plan’ to partner with Fauquier County on Orlean, as there are not enough homes/subscribers to be lucrative,” Katie Heritage, the county’s deputy administrator, said.
The county received word of the decision on Aug. 15.
“Needless to say, this is a big disappointment – especially since VATI required that we post notice on our intent to apply for the grant by Aug. 6,” Heritage said. “Obviously, a lot of folks from Orlean commented encouraging the application and will doubtlessly be disappointed.”
Supervisor Rick Gerhardt expressed disappointment and said this same scenario with Comcast had happened once before when the county asked it to partner on a state broadband grant application for Morrisville.
The county hoped to get $3 million through VATI, which has $19 million to subsidize construction costs and provide last-mile service to unserved areas. The county would have contributed $500,000 and Comcast would have put in another $500,000.