Virginia to Receive $1.4 Billion in Federal Funding for Universal Broadband Access

Investment to support universal broadband access in the Commonwealth to complement state efforts to address the digital divide.

  • DHCD

RICHMOND, Va.-- The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) today announced $1.4 billion in funding to close the digital divide in Virginia. These funds are granted through the federal Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program under the Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act and will be prioritized to reach the remaining unserved homes, businesses and community anchors in the Commonwealth.

"Virginia continues to be a national leader for closing the digital divide, and today's announcement cements the Commonwealth's success," said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick. "The funding will not only ensure that every home, business, school and community anchor in the Commonwealth will be connected to affordable, reliable high-speed broadband, but we will also focus our efforts and funding on boosting adoption, promoting digital literacy and lowering costs for all Virginians."

The BEAD program is a $42.45 billion nationwide program to expand high-speed internet access by funding planning, infrastructure deployment and adoption programs. In Virginia, the funds will build upon the work of the Virginia Telecommunication Initiative (VATI) to reach the remaining unserved regions of the Commonwealth that do not already have broadband infrastructure.

"Broadband is as critical today as electricity was in the last century, and too many communities are at risk of being left behind," said DHCD Director Bryan Horn. "By utilizing the framework of VATI, we will be able to effectively and efficiently utilize these federal funds to connect unserved Virginians and move the needle even further on adoption and affordability."

DHCD will administer the BEAD funds to deploy high-speed broadband infrastructure to the remaining unserved homes, businesses, and community anchor institutions across Virginia. Once funding for universal broadband access is delivered, DHCD will focus on leveraging these investments through promoting affordability and improving adoption of this critical service.

"Today's announcement of Virginia's allocation from the BEAD program reaffirms our commitment to bringing affordable, reliable, high-speed internet to every unserved and underserved household, business and community anchor in the Commonwealth," said Dr. Tamarah Holmes, director of DHCD's Office of Broadband. "Because of the strides made under the VATI program, BEAD funds will enable us to achieve universal broadband access in Virginia. We can then turn our focus towards ending the digital divide in broadband affordability, digital literacy and full adoption of broadband services to make Virginia a state of digital opportunity."

Since 2017, Virginia has allocated over $935 million in state and federal funding to extend broadband infrastructure to over 388,000 locations in 80 cities and counties across the Commonwealth through VATI. These investments have leveraged an additional $1.1 billion in matching funds from local governments and internet service providers. The VATI program alone has helped 75 counties and cities work towards achieving universal broadband access since the program's inception.

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