Sep 29 2022
71 - How is Virginia leading the push for broadband expansion?
You're listening to this show thanks to high speed internet. And as awesome as this podcast may be, there's a whole lot more that makes high speed internet indispensable for modern life. During the pandemic, school, work, health, and social life all moved online. Access to the internet was, and still is, a must. That made life awfully challenging for families where high-speed internet was not available.
Some good news on this podcast, for once! The 2021 Infrastructure, Investment and Jobs Act allotted $65 billion dollars to expand internet access across the country. That's through a program called Broadband Equity Access and Deployment, or BEAD.
In this nationwide push, Virginia has emerged as a leader. Our commonwealth was prioritizing broadband access way before BEAD. As governor, Ralph Northam set a goal to get all Virginia communities online by 2024, and that has been continued by Glenn Youngkin. As other states receive BEAD funding, experts are advising to follow Virginia's footsteps.
To help us understand what Virginia's doing right, we talk with Christopher Ali, Professor of Telecommunications at Penn State University, and Dr. Tamarah Holmes, Director of Broadband at the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.
Find out more on our prior episode on broadband expansion.