The U.S. Department of Commerce Broadband Technologies Opportunities Program (BTOP) awarded a grant to extend Virginia's open-access fiber optic backbone into the central Appalachian region of the state. The grant enables extension of the state network, adding 110 miles of fiber from Bedford through Roanoke, Botetourt, Craig, Giles, and Montgomery counties. The Mid-Atlantic Broadband Cooperative partnered with the Virginia Tech Foundation to develop the proposal and will help to build and operate the network. Jeff Crowder of CNS is the project manager. For more information, see "Virginia Tech Foundation receives $5.54 million grant from federal Broadband Technology Opportunities Program."