As you may know, I’ve been working tirelessly to expand access to broadband across Virginia. Whether it’s working with industry stakeholders or key government officials, I believe that we need to use all means available to get those who have been left behind up to speed, because it is absolutely critical to growing our economy and improving the lives of countless Virginians.
I wanted to make sure you knew how you can get involved in bringing high-speed internet to rural Virginia.
On July 27th, 2018, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the opening of the official comment period in the Federal Register for the implementation of the e-Connectivity Pilot Program established in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 on March 23, 2018.
The new e-Connectivity Pilot Program has the potential to bring the more than 29 percent of rural Virginians living without access to high-speed internet off the sidelines. I fought for this funding and will continue to work with the USDA to make sure the e-Connectivity Pilot Program focuses on the truly unserved areas of our great Commonwealth.
USDA is seeking input from all stakeholders with interest in rural broadband deployment for the new program. The purpose of the comment period is to create the most effective use of the new and innovative funds made available through the e-Connectivity Pilot program. All public input will be essential to how the rules and requirements of the e-Connectivity Pilot Program will be developed.
I encourage all rural communities struggling with access to high-speed broadband service to provide comment. Comments are due on or before 5 p.m. on Monday, September 10, 2018, and can be submitted by going to www.regulations.gov or by sending them via mail to Michele Brooks, Rural Development Innovation Center, Regulations Team Lead, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Stop 1522, Room 1562, Washington, DC 20250. Please state that your comments refer to Docket No. RUS-18-TELECOM-0004.
If you have any questions or need assistance with providing comment please contact me by visiting my website at www.wittman.house.gov or by calling my office at 202-225-4261.
Please do not hesitate tocontact meanytime an issue that concerns you comes before the House. It is an honor to serve you and the First District in the People’s House.