RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Five Virginia counties are getting grants to help extend broadband access in rural areas.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s office says nearly $945,000 in grants will go to Albemarle, Augusta, Bland, Gloucester and Greensville counties.

The Virginia Telecommunication Initiative is a new program that aims to help communities team up with service providers to expand broadband in underserved areas.

McAuliffe says in a statement that broadband access is an “essential tool” to helping communities attract new business and support its schools and students.