I am a small business owner living in Page County and conduct most of my business online.
Unfortunately, internet access in Page County isn’t very reliable. When I can’t get online or get kicked off, I lose business. Broadband internet would be very helpful in running my business. In 2020, I don’t understand why broadband is not available throughout our county.
I am also a retired USAF officer with a graduate degree in information systems and understand that rural broadband may not be commercially profitable in Page County and other small, rural communities. But public funds are available to bridge that gap. With the support of Democratic Governor Ralph Northam, Virginia maintains a grant program (the Virginia Telecommunications Initiative, at dhcd.virginia.gov/vati) to fund rural broadband.
Why haven’t our elected officials and both the town and county governments obtained this funding? Access to broadband throughout our county would benefit not only business owners, but the entire community, especially students who are trying to keep up with their schoolwork from home and teachers who are working hard to teach their classes online.
Joe Biden’s program to “Build Back Better” includes $20 billion for rural broadband. Additionally, Senator Mark Warner has extensive business experience with internet technology and a continuing record of pushing for rural broadband. The website of Congressional candidate Nicholas Betts stresses the need for rural broadband. These clear reasons for supporting them all. I strongly urge all community members to contact their political leadership and tell them we need broadband throughout Page County.
Helen Phillips Cockrell ~ Page County, Va.
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