Broadband internet is key to new economic growth. It is unacceptable that we have large areas in the 59th District where people have no access to the internet. It is not uncommon for rural residents to have to rely on local businesses or public libraries to connect to the internet. We need to change that. Just as we did in the 1930s and 1940s with rural electrification, we need to provide rural Americans with the opportunity to live the American Dream.

With broadband, people can search and interview for jobs. People can work from home. Kids can do homework. Entrepreneurs can start businesses or sell products. Families can do their shopping and pay their bills. Businesses are much more likely to invest and stay in communities with broadband internet. Without broadband, people are at a huge disadvantage. They are disconnected from our economy and our society. Their kids are more likely to leave for other areas. Businesses and their employees will shutter their doors and leave.

Having access to broadband in every corner of our Commonwealth is now an essential part of opportunity in America. At the state level, I will fight to fully fund sources of revenue to expand broadband, including the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Center for Innovative Technology, and the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission. At the local level, I will work with our economic development and broadband authorities to support the public private partnerships they are forging to expand high speed internet. It won't be easy and it won't happen right away. But it must happen. Access to broadband internet is critical to our area's economic development and competitiveness.