facebook linkedin twitter

Virginia to Invest $700 Million to Provide Universal Broadband by 2024

July 16, 2021 by Dan McCue
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam

RICHMOND, Va. – Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced Friday that the commonwealth will invest $700 million of federal funds to provide universal broadband to its residents by 2024.

“It’s time to close the digital divide in our Commonwealth and treat Internet service like the 21st century necessity that it is — not just a luxury for some, but an essential utility for all,” Northam said. 

“The pandemic has reinforced how important high-quality broadband is for health, education, and economic opportunity, and we cannot afford to leave any community behind,” he said.

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., who also spoke at the news conference announcing the plan, called it the most comprehensive and firm commitment of any state to reach such a goal in that timeframe.

“This is a truly historic day,” said Warner, who secured the funding through the American Rescue Plan Act. “It has been a long, long time coming.”

The Virginia General Assembly is set to meet for a special session on Aug. 2 to plot a path forward for spending the funds.

According to a press release from the governor’s office, the state expects to have commitments on the majority of connections in the next 18 months.

At the news conference, Northam emphasized how the COVID pandemic has demonstrated the urgent need for robust internet access across the state.

He also drew a parallel between the current broadband situation and the early 1900s rise of electricity in the U.S. 

Northam said by 1936, 90% of rural Virginia didn’t have access to electricity until Congress passed a bill funding the infrastructure build-out.

In late 2020, a report released by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia found that one in five Virginia students from kindergarten through college lacked either high-speed internet or a computer in the home. 

Of K-12 Virginia students, 14% lacked high-speed internet service and the same was true for 10% of college students.

And while broadband coverage tends to be spottiest in rural areas, the state council report noted that nearly 40% of students without broadband in Virginia live in or around cities.

In The States

November 24, 2021
by Dan McCue
Jury Hands Down Multiple Guilty Verdicts in Ahmaud Arbery Murder Case

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — All three defendants have been found guilty of murder in the fatal shooting of jogger Ahmaud Arbery... Read More

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — All three defendants have been found guilty of murder in the fatal shooting of jogger Ahmaud Arbery in February 2020. The reckoning came shortly after 2 p.m. Wednesday after about 10 hours of deliberations. It followed a trial in which prosecutors argued that... Read More

November 24, 2021
by Reece Nations
Bitcoin Miners Flocking to Texas for Cheap Energy May Bring Grid Problems

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas’ alluring low energy costs are drawing bitcoin miners from out of state despite the vulnerable condition... Read More

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas’ alluring low energy costs are drawing bitcoin miners from out of state despite the vulnerable condition of the electrical grid. Cryptocurrency mining is an energy-intensive process in which new cryptocurrencies are entered into circulation by using sophisticated computer hardware to solve complicated... Read More

November 23, 2021
by Reece Nations
Gohmert Joins Texas Attorney General Race

SAN ANTONIO — Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, announced on Monday that he plans to join the Republican primary field for... Read More

SAN ANTONIO — Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, announced on Monday that he plans to join the Republican primary field for Texas attorney general in a bid to oust incumbent Ken Paxton. Gohmert, who has served in the House of Representatives since 2005, was previously elected state... Read More

Trump-Backed Parnell Loses Custody Battle, Suspends Campaign

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Sean Parnell, the candidate endorsed by former President Donald Trump for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, on... Read More

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Sean Parnell, the candidate endorsed by former President Donald Trump for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, on Monday suspended his campaign after he lost a court fight over custody of his three children in which the judge said he believed allegations of abuse... Read More

November 22, 2021
by Dan McCue
Eddie Bernice Johnson Retiring from Congress

WASHINGTON — Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas, is retiring from Congress after nearly three decades in office, bringing to 16... Read More

WASHINGTON — Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas, is retiring from Congress after nearly three decades in office, bringing to 16 the number of Democrats who are bowing out before the 2022 election. Johnson, a trailblazer her whole life, was the first Black woman elected to public... Read More

Investigators Look at if Parade Crash Driver Fleeing Crime

WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) — A joyous scene of marching bands and children dancing in Santa hats and waving pompoms turned... Read More

WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) — A joyous scene of marching bands and children dancing in Santa hats and waving pompoms turned deadly in an instant, as an SUV sped through barricades and into a Christmas parade in suburban Milwaukee, killing at least five people and injuring more... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top