At our April 2021 luncheon, the SVTC welcomed Kyle Rosner from Gov. Northam’s office., who gave an update on the state of Virginia’s state of broadband. (Kyle Rosner’s Presentation (pdf) | Watch full presentation April 21, 2021 (YouTube ) He provided an overview of the multi-pronged effort to achieve universal broadband coverage, including the VATI program, CARES Act investments, the utility middle mile program, and future state/federal investments.
Four panelists from the Shenandoah Valley also joined to share their views from the provider, education, government, and user perspectives. These panelists included Tom Lundquist (K-12 education), James Funkhouser (telecommunications providers), Pam Carter (locality), and Josh Fitzpatrick (higher education).
This event was only the first step in a greater conversation about broadband in the Shen. Valley and universal broadband coverage. Because of the continued interest and room for improvement, the SVTC created a Slack channel to see where the conversation could take us. It’s open to anyone – please join us: SVTechCouncil (Slack)
As of the beginning of May 2021, the conversation there is exploring where the underserved areas of the Shenandoah Valley are, and whether there are any localities interested in discussing -perhaps collaborating- on a VATI 2022 grant. (see VATI grant timeline here)
Further info (tool kits, bills, and grant funding):
- Commonwealth Connect site, incl. the Commonwealth Connect Report and the toolkit
- VIRGINIA TELECOMMUNICATION INITIATIVE (VATI)
- Virginia has been apportioned $17 billion in the America Rescue Plan to expand access to high-speed broadband
- T-Mobile’s Project 10Million
- Emergency Broadband Benefit Program
- FCC’s E-Rate program