Aug 12 2021
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine announced $14,123,917 in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to provide broadband service to people in central Virginia through the ReConnect Program. The funding will be awarded to Central Virginia Services Inc. in Arrington, VA to install a fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network that will connect 13,886 people, 4,139 households, 193 businesses, and 65 farms spread over 65 square miles in the surrounding area to high-speed broadband internet. The funding will also benefit 37 educational facilities, three health care facilities, and 14 essential community facilities.
“Broadband isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity, but many Virginians still don’t have reliable access to internet,” said the Senators. “That’s why we’re glad to see these federal dollars go toward connecting people across Virginia, which will improve access to job opportunities and educational resources and help small businesses grow.”
Senators Warner and Kaine have been strong supporters of expanding broadband access in Virginia. Earlier this week, they voted to pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, a comprehensive infrastructure package that delivers wins to communities across the Commonwealth, including at least $100 million to expand broadband across the Commonwealth. Under the bill, 1,908,000 or 23% of people in Virginia will be eligible for the Affordability Connectivity Benefit, which will help low-income families afford internet access and lower their bills. The legislation also provides over $44 billion in funding for broadband expansion across the nation, including an additional $2 billion to the ReConnect program and $42.45 billion in state grants. The legislation now heads to the U.S. House of Representatives for consideration. Last year, Warner and Kaine introduced legislation to help ensure adequate home internet connectivity for K-12 students during the coronavirus pandemic.
In 2018, both Warner and Kaine worked to secure funding to establish the ReConnect Program and other federal programs that are critical to improving broadband access across the Commonwealth.