ABINGDON, Va. (AP)- Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is calling for using $700 million in federal coronavirus relief money to expand broadband infrastructure in the state.
Northam said Friday that using $700 million from American Rescue Plan funding would allow the state to connect unserved areas and achieve universal internet access by 2024. That’s four years earlier than originally planned under Northam’s 10-year goal to close the digital divide in Virginia.
The money would come from Virginia’s $4.3 billion portion of American Rescue Plan funding. Lawmakers will meet next month for a special session to allocate the funding.
Northam said Virginia has made strong progress toward achieving universal internet access, but there are still 233,500 unserved locations.