Ralph Northam, Virginia governor, unveiled $700 million plan to increase broadband access to residents. The governor has plans to utilize a $700 million to carry out this project. The pandemic has revealed the immediate need for internet access, particularly in rural Virginia.
On Friday, the Virginia governor revealed that the commonwealth will be investing $700 million of federal funds to create broadband for Virginia residents by the year 2024.
This plan is considered the best commitment and decision any state could make. Senator Mark Warner who announced the initiative said that the plan is a firm commitment to achieving such a great goal within that timeframe.
Virginia expects to work on most of the connections in 18 months’ time, according to a press release. Jennifer Boysko, the chairperson of the broadband advisory board, showed commitment by revealing the fact that the board received an allocation of $1 million for broadband throughout Virginia.
Gov. Northam emphasized how the pandemic has revealed that there is an immediate need for increased internet access across Virginia. The pandemic resulted in distance learning in 2020. According to the State Council of Higher Education, one in five Virginia students didn’t have access to a computer or internet in the home.
14% out of K-12 Virginia students didn’t have access to high-speed internet service. Rural areas experience low broadband coverage, although the state council report revealed that almost 40% of students without access to broadband live in or around cities.
Northam compared the situation of the current broadband and the rise of electricity in the United States in the 1900s. He maintained that 90 percent of rural Virginia lacked access to electricity by 1936 until Congress passed legislation that funds the infrastructure build-out.
If you don’t have high-speed internet broadband in 2021 you’re not even going to get a fair look from any company that wants to locate or bring jobs here or frankly some of our own who want to stay here.Warner