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Wittman Supports Rural Broadband Expansion Throughout VA-01
Washington, October 21, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-01), announced that he authored ten letters to the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development’s Office of Broadband in support of the following counties FY 2022 Virginia Telecommunication Initiative (VATI) grant applications to expand reliable high-speed broadband service to rural Virginia:
“During the last year and a half, COVID-19 has altered our lives in a myriad of ways. Virginians depend on reliable and cost-effective broadband connectivity to perform almost every task. Nowhere has the digital divide been more obvious than in the rural areas of Virginia’s First Congressional District,” Congressman Wittman wrote. “Broadband is key to the economic stability, telehealth access, precision agriculture and the educational success of all in Virginia’s First Congressional District. Economic incentives allow the expansion of dependable broadband access and key public-private partnerships, like the ones VATI empowers.
Congressman Wittman’s letters of support come at a time when every Virginian is turning to the internet to perform almost every task, such as telework, virtual-learning, job applications, and accessing telehealth services. The VA-01 applicants supported by Congressman Wittman have collaborated with various internet service providers to establish effective public-private partnerships to provide broadband access to thousands of currently unserved and underserved homes, businesses, and community institutions in the region.
Congressman Wittman serves as co-chair of the bipartisan House Rural Broadband Caucus. As co-chair, he introduced the Serving Rural America Act, which was included in the December 2020 COVID-19 relief bill; helped draft the now enacted Broadband DATA Act, which requires providers report service availability based on more granular geolocation rather than traditional census blocks to improve the National Broadband Map; and in May, hosted a fireside chat with FCC Commissioner Nathan Simington to hear from area stakeholders, local officials, and constituents on issues of broadband connectivity.
The Virginia Telecommunication Initiative (VATI) extends broadband service to currently unserved areas. VATI prepares communities to build, utilize, and capitalize on telecommunications infrastructure with the goal of creating strong, competitive communities.Click Here to read Congressman Wittman’s Letter in support of King George, Lancaster, and Northumberland Counties.
Congressman Rob Wittman represents the 1st District of Virginia. He serves on the House Natural Resources Committee and the House Armed Services Committee, where he serves as the ranking member of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee.