Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Virginia Receives $1.5 Billion To Improve Internet Coverage

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Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) recently sent out a letter to constituents announcing $1.5 billion in federal funding to improve internet coverage across the commonwealth. The funding was made possible by the bipartisan infrastructure law that is making investment in roads, bridges, airports, public transit, rail projects, and, now, internet services.

“I was a lead negotiator on this law, and I knew from the jump that funding for broadband had to be a priority,” Warner said in the letter. “As I visit communities across the commonwealth, I hear frustrations about coverage time and time again…and if the pandemic made anything clear, it’s that high-speed internet isn’t a nice-to-have. It’s a need-to-have, so families across Virginia don’t have to drive their kids to McDonald’s parking lots to do their homework.”

Warner went on to say that if Virginia doesn’t have universal coverage in the next couple of years, it will be a failure of execution, not a failure of funding. He also included that broadband isn’t actually accessible if it’s physically present but tremendously expensive.

Warner also included a link to the Affordable Connectivity Program that offers service discounts up to $30 per month and up to $75 per month for qualifying Tribal lands, in addition to a $100 discount for qualifying devices. Those who qualify include if a person, their child, or a dependent is enrolled in government programs such as Medicare, SNAP, WIC, or other, or based on household income.

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