Spanberger Launches 2019 Rural Broadband Survey, Calls for Feedback from Central Virginians
Last Week, the Congresswoman’s Amendment to Fix Inaccurate Broadband Mapping Passed Out of the U.S. House. In Recent Months, Spanberger Has Tackled the Issue of Rural Broadband Connectivity to Make Sure Rural Communities Can Access Equal Educational and Economic Opportunities.
HENRICO, V.A. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today launched her 2019 Rural Broadband Survey to help identify some of the high-speed internet connectivity challenges facing Central Virginians.
Spanberger’s survey is part of her broader effort to collect accurate information about internet coverage gaps across Central Virginia. With this information, she’ll work to push policymakers to prioritize next-generation infrastructure investment and to expand essential high-speed broadband internet access to rural communities across Virginia’s Seventh District.
“The digital divide between rural and urban America is a real problem, and it exacerbates the lack of educational and economic opportunities faced by many in our rural communities. In rural Central Virginia, limited broadband access can make it harder for businesses to attract new employees, farmers to take advantage of precision agriculture technology, or students to complete their online homework assignments,” said Spanberger. “We must address these negative effects with practical, bipartisan steps to improve broadband access—and we need to hear directly from those impacted. With the launch of this survey, I look forward to our area’s residents sharing their stories, providing useful feedback, and helping us chart a path forward for expanding access to high-speed internet across rural America. This issue should be a top priority, and I remain committed to making sure no one in rural Virginia is left behind by the digital economy.”
Rural broadband access has been a top concern for constituents at Spanberger’s roundtable and town hall events.
In recent months, Spanberger has tackled the issue of rural broadband access from several angles. Last week, Spanberger led a bipartisan push to request increased investment in programs that expand and improve rural broadband internet access. Spanberger also introduced an amendment requiring a report on the accuracy of FCC broadband mapping data, which was included in the Save the Internet Act passed out of the House last week.
In her first House Agriculture Committee hearing in February, Spanberger and U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue agreed that current funding for federal rural broadband programs is insufficient. And in January, she urged House leadership to prioritize infrastructure investments—including broadband expansion—as an area for bipartisan cooperation.