Sen. Mark Warner vows to continue expanding broadband in Southwest Virginia

Gov. Ralph Northam says more than 500,000 Virginians are without efficient internet access

SOUTH BOSTON, Va. – Even in 2020, internet accessibility and affordability are a luxury for some. In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, politicians are now focused on bridging that gap.

Sen. Mark Warner was in South Boston Wednesday talking with a company responsible for connecting hundreds of thousands to the internet in Southside and beyond.

Whether it’s for school, work or your health, accessibility is crucial. Even facing that reality, Gov. Ralph Northam says more than 500,000 Virginians are without efficient internet access.

“We are in the year 2020. Everybody needs access to broadband," said Northam at an event in Roanoke Tuesday.

“If there is one thing we’ve all learned from COVID is that broadband connectivity is not a ‘nice to have,’ it is an absolute necessity," stated Warner.

Northam explained the state has dedicated more money annually to broadband expansion under his administration. Additionally, the General Assembly dedicated $30 million of CARES Act relief money to the inequity as well.

Warner says affordability should also be addressed while accessibility to expanded.

“It’s going to take the County government, it’s going to take the state, it’s going to take us at the federal level and it’s going to take these big companies," explained Sen. Warner.

Warner spoke with leaders of the Mid-Atlantic Broadband Cooperative in South Boston.

Halifax County leaders were also on hand. They also have dedicated millions to broadband expansion. It is expected that 70% of the County will have full broadband access by the end of 2021.

About the Author

McKinley Strother joined the WSLS 10 News team in June 2020. He anchors 10 News at 6 and 11 on Saturdays and Sundays and you'll also catch him reporting during the week.

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