Virginia governor announces massive funding for broadband access
AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - On Monday, Governor Ralph Northam announced over $700 million will go toward expanding broadband access across the Commonwealth.
Of the over $700 million, a $95 million grant will help to connect 37,000 homes and businesses with fiber internet with $190 million dollars in local and private matching funds helping to connect all unserved areas in Augusta, Rockingham, Page, Clarke, Fauquier, Frederick, Rappahannock, and Warren counties.
“This announcement today, right here, is Virginia’s largest broadband project to date,” Northam said.
Northam said broadband access was a priority of his administration.
“This has been personal for me, and that is to make sure that everybody in Virginia, I don’t care where you live, or who you are, has access to broadband,” Northam said.
Northam said the need for access was made even more evident in the pandemic with online schooling.
“During COVID, the necessity for broadband was even stronger. We had to close our schools for a period of time and our children were learning virtually. Well, if they didn’t have broadband, their hands were literally tied,” Northam said.
On Monday afternoon, Northam was joined by his team, local leaders, and the project partners at Blue Ridge Community College to announce the broadband efforts in the Valley.
Northam thanked those involved in making the project possible, All Points Broadband, Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission and several other partners, including Dominion Energy, Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative (SVEC), and many more.
Northam said SVEC will be middle-mile broadband providers to help lower costs.
“Today is what I call the end of the beginning. We have a long way to go and a few years of work in front of us, but today is the day that this concept turned into this project,” Jimmy Carr, Chief Executive Officer of All Points Broadband, said.
Northam said more than 90% of the digital divide has been closed in the Commonwealth and said they will make sure every Virginian has broadband access by 2024.
You can learn more about the awarded funds here.
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