WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) today announced a whopping $1,481,489,527.87 in federal funding to deploy broadband and expand access to high-speed internet in Virginia. This funding was awarded though the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program, which was created by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act – landmark legislation authored and negotiated by Sen. Warner.
“This whopping $1.4 billion investment brings us a giant step closer to achieving our goal of universal broadband coverage in Virginia,” said Sen. Warner. ”We all know that access to fast, reliable, and affordable internet is crucial to ensuring our rural communities grow and thrive, and I’m thrilled that Virginia is receiving the investment we need to deploy broadband all across the Commonwealth. This funding is in no small part thanks to the Virginians that took time out of their day to report their connectivity status. Because of these efforts, we were able to accurately report our coverage and access every cent to which Virginia was entitled.”
The Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program, administered by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), seeks to expand high-speed internet access by funding planning, infrastructure deployment and adoption programs. Specifically, today’s funding will be utilized by the Virginia Telecommunication Initiative (VATI) to reach unserved and underserved locations throughout the Commonwealth – those lacking 25/3 internet speeds and 100/20 internet speeds.
Sen. Warner has long fought to expand access to broadband in Virginia, including by advocating for the accurate reporting of Virginia’s connectivity status. Last year, he called on Virginians to contact the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding internet coverage in their communities. Following the FCC’s reporting deadline, Sen. Warner called attention to a significant number of locations in Virginia that were incorrectly reported on the FCC broadband coverage map.
As an author and negotiator of the bipartisan infrastructure law, Sen. Warner secured $65 billion in funding to help deploy broadband and decrease costs associated with connecting to the internet. As part of that funding, Virginia received $5 million to help make a strategic plan to deploy coverage.