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Currently, almost 50% of rural Virginians either lack access to high-speed internet or 29% don’t have internet service at all. High speed broadband has the potential to revolutionize the way rural populations live their lives. As folks in urban areas today benefit from the everyday experiences of online banking, email, or ridesharing, rural populations continue to be left on the sideline. 

As Co-Chair of the House Rural Broadband Caucus, I have made expanding broadband access in rural areas a top priority. Currently, burdensome regulations are hindering shovel-ready projects from providing broadband access to unserved populations and throughout the country. By streamlining our federal permitting processes, we can help better connect the more than 23 million Americans with little or no access to broadband, to the digital economy. Closing the digital divide is the key to lifting up countless communities and populations in unserved areas. While Congress has made great strides in tackling this issue, more can and should be done.