Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam stated Friday that the state plans to direct $700 million of funding towards serving to deliver broadband to underserved areas throughout the subsequent three years. The transfer is supposed to expedite Northam’s 10-year plan to supply web entry for everybody within the state, pushing ahead the aim 12 months from 2028 to 2024.
Northam additionally stated Virginia has “efficiently bridged half of the digital divide, with an estimated 233,500 unserved areas remaining,” based on a launch.
“It is time to shut the digital divide in our Commonwealth and deal with web service just like the twenty first century necessity that it’s — not only a luxurious for some, however a necessary utility for all,” Northam stated in a press release. “The pandemic has bolstered how essential high-quality broadband is for the well being, schooling, and financial alternative, and we can’t afford to depart any neighborhood behind.”
The federal American Rescue Plan, a response to the , goals to supply reduction for American staff and to assist with financial restoration, which incorporates the dissemination of . Pandemic lockdowns additionally , as People turned extra reliant on high-speed web entry to finish important duties whereas caught at residence.
Since 2018, Virginia says, it is awarded round $124 million in broadband grants and linked greater than 140,000 properties, companies and neighborhood facilities. It says it is on monitor to be one of many first states within the US to realize common broadband service.