Broadband fiber. Courtesy of the Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority.

Here’s a roundup of news briefs from around Southwest and Southside:

State says FCC has many addresses in Virginia wrong

The Virginia Office of Broadband says the Federal Communications Commission has mistakenly listed at least 358,000 addresses in the state as served by broadband when they’re not. The FCC is putting together a nationwide map of broadband coverage that will be used to guide federal funding for expanding service. (See our background story, ‘The FCC wants to map broadband coverage.‘)

Virginia filed a challenge last week to the map. State officials say that because of agreements with broadband providers, they can’t discuss where those 358,000 addresses are. That number does not cover challenges filed by individual Virginians.

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Virginia, sent a letter to the FCC supporting the state’s challenge. “In partnership with Virginia Tech, the Virginia Office of Broadband found that there are approximately 358,000 locations in Virginia that are reported on the new map as being served when, in fact, they currently lack access to broadband,” Warner wrote. “Given that the funding provided to states by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act’s Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program is calculated based on the number of unserved locations in each state, it’s important that the number of unserved locations is accurately calculated. I hope that you will carefully review the challenges submitted by individual Virginians as well as the bulk challenge submitted by the Virginia Office of Broadband.”  

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Companies in Amherst and Montgomery graduate from state’s export program

Ten companies have graduated from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s Virginia Leaders in Export Trade program that assists Virginia companies with exporting their products. Two of those are in Amherst County and Montgomery County.

The graduating companies are:

  • American K-9 Interdiction, LLC (Isle of Wight County)
  • BecTech, Inc. (City of Alexandria)
  • Embody, Inc. (City of Norfolk)
  • ENSCO, Inc. (Fairfax County)
  • Har-Tru (Fluvanna County)
  • Kapsuun Group (Fairfax County)
  • Moog Inc. (Montgomery County)
  • Morphix Technologies (City of Virginia Beach)
  • PaneraTech (Fairfax County)
  • TRU Ball/AXCEL Archery (Amherst County)

VALET is a two-year international business acceleration program that provides participating companies with international sales plan development services, assistance from a team of experienced international service providers, international business meetings with potential partners, educational events, and customized market research. There are currently 51 companies participating in the VALET program, and 415 Virginia companies have been accepted to participate in the program since its inception in 2002. The VALET program generates an average increase in international sales of 78% for participating companies.

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Registration for business competition in Southwest Virginia now open

Southwest Virginia entrepreneurs can compete for $300,000 in cash and prizes as part of a business accelerator program sponsored by The Advancement Foundation, Opportunity Southwest and the University of Virginia’s College at Wise starting this February. 

The Advancement Foundation’s 9th Annual GAUNTLET is Virginia’s largest business program and competition.

Individuals must apply by Tuesday, February 7, 2023, when virtual classes begin.  Register here.

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Fincastle Winter Market will feature local products

A new event, The Fincastle Winter Market, is taking place at the Fincastle Volunteer Fire Department on Saturday, January 21st from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The Market will be featuring locally grown and made goods.