General Assembly passes broadband affordability legislation

Published: Mar. 2, 2022 at 3:32 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ) - Virginia’s General Assembly has passed House Bill 1265, which calls for the Commonwealth to create a Digital Affordability and Cost Effectiveness Plan (DACEP), positioning Virginia to receive up to $600 million in federal funds to make broadband more affordable to Virginians.

Information about the passage was released by Delegate Suhas Subramanyam (D-87), who introduced the bill.

The bill asks the Department of Housing and Community Development to develop the DACEP this year, including the creation of a broadband affordability map and a blueprint for how and where to deploy broadband affordability funds.

Subramanyam says, “This plan is a necessary step in positioning the Commonwealth to be “first in line” for federal funding from the recently-passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.”

Senators Chap Peterson (D-34) and Jennifer Boysko (D-33) carried companion legislation in the Senate.

Subramanyam continued, “While Virginia has been a leader in broadband deployment, making broadband affordable to all has been a major challenge. A comprehensive plan for broadband affordability has been long overdue, and this legislation will make broadband affordable to tens of thousands of Virginians in all parts of the Commonwealth, including both rural and urban areas.

“With the DACEP, we will be first in line for hundreds of millions in federal broadband affordability funding and make internet access a reality for people all across the Commonwealth.”

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