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Alexandria Officials Break Ground on New Municipal Broadband Project

From left: Councilman Canek Aguirre, Councilman John Taylor Chapman, Councilwoman Amy Jackson, Mayor Justin Wilson (Photo Grace Billups Arnold)

ALEXANDRIA, VA—On Monday, August 23, Mayor Justin Wilson and City Council members broke ground outside the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria on new broadband construction.

Animal Welfare League of Alexandria, 4101 Eisenhower Ave. (Photo Grace Billups Arnold)

Present to help break that ground along with Mayor Justin Wilson were Councilwoman Amy Jackson, Councilman John Taylor Chapman, Councilman Canek Aguirre, and the project team.

The project team with city officials. (Photo Grace Billups Arnold)

Councilwoman Jackson says, “This has been an ultimate goal of a very progressive Alexandria and so we are very excited  to have that here today and start the ball rolling for something that we have been trying to implement for a while now.”

As part of a four-year, city-wide build, this new municipal broadband construction will replace the city’s current I-Net supported by Comcast, with an overbuilding infrastructure that will connect all city facilities, schools, and will be leasable to private providers.

“This is supporting the city’s infrastructure needs, as well as providing the opportunity for private partnership,” says Mayor Justin Wilson.

Project team. (Photo Grace Billups Arnold)

Broadband is now a basic necessity in daily life across the world; the pandemic forcing people to work from home and students to study from home, only underscored that necessity.

“I know personally how [broadband] has been a challenge,” states Councilwoman Jackson. “For the past eighteen months, we have been working from home; our kids on the iPads and computers, my husband downstairs, and then me. This will be beneficial to [the students] and, as we look at telecommuting options, people who might not be going back into the office.”

Media, city officials, and the project team gathered outside the AWLA before breaking ground on the new broadband. (Photo Grace Billups Arnold)

The construction will occur across the city, starting on Eisenhower Avenue. Throughout the four years it will take to finish this project, the city will be able to get individual sections online as they are completed.

Mayor Wilson concludes, “This is something that has been a long time coming. This is just basic infrastructure now, which is why it is so important. It will be a great step forward for the city, will help facilitate city purposes, will save money, and provide opportunity.”

On Monday, August 23, city officials broke ground outside the AWLA on a new broadband installation. (Photo Grace Billups Arnold)

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