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Sen. Kaine holds broadband access round table with community leaders

The COVID-19 pandemic has meant some struggles for people working and learning from home. | Credit: WHSV
The COVID-19 pandemic has meant some struggles for people working and learning from home. | Credit: WHSV(WHSV)
Published: May. 26, 2020 at 6:32 PM EDT
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During this break from the Senate, Sen. Tim Kaine is taking the time to talk with leaders and people around the state about a variety of issues, and Tuesday's round table was about broadband access.

The COVID-19 pandemic has meant a lot of people are working and learning from home, and not everyone has the internet needed to support them. During the roundtable, people spoke about the issues they've been facing, and possible ways local governments could use money from the CARES Act to increase broadband access.

Additionally, there was also some discussion about telework centers and how those could benefit workers.

"We're looking in our region to see if we can identify telework centers," Bonnie Riedesel, executive director of the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission, said.

Riedesel added they hope to identify and market the places to help people who need better access to broadband, or a better place to work.

Senator Kaine said he's always been a supporter of improving broadband access, but his discussions during the pandemic have highlighted the need and moved it to the top of his list.

"Broadband to me is now the equivalent of when you turn on a light switch in your house, you want the lights to go on, or when you open the faucet, you want water to come out of it," Kaine said.

As Congress is continuing to work on COVID-19 relief, Kaine said he would take these discussions back to Washington to see how the federal government could help.

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