Letter to the EditorDecember 19, 2006
I am writing to recognize the county officials, including Mrrs. Ashworth, Thomas, Rozell and Acors for working to bring Virginia Broadband to Caroline. This past year the legislature spent a good deal of time discussing the needs of Virginiaâ€™s infrastructure with a heavy focus on roads. If truth be told, Broadband and high-speed internet access are just as important. Think of the collateral benefits of economic development and telecommuting all which bring investment to the county while taking cars off the roads. The Governor also recognized this relationship of internet infrastructure and roads by creating the Director of Telework who will study ways government employees, first, then others can be as productive while reducing congestion. I also want to compliment my colleague Del. Rob Wittman who has been leading efforts to bring this necessary infrastructure to the rural areas of his district. From our efforts in last yearâ€™s assembly, $ 2.4 million dollars were appropriated for broadband planning and last mile strategies. This strategic investment will be implemented by the Department of Housing and Community Development. An initial meeting was held on the engineering plan on November 15. This planning process is critical for counties as it was this process that got broadband and high speed internet off the ground in the depressed areas of Southwest Virginia. In addition to this appropriation, some counties are simultaneously pursuing formation of high speed internet authorities to provide access through a governmental entity at a lower rate. These projects are based upon a state statute that went into place several years ago to allow counties form these authorities and not interfere with companies like Virginia Broadband and their efforts. Finally, I want to thank Virginia Broadband for investing in Caroline. Our district appreciates the support while the statewide effort gets started.