WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) today spoke with Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg to discuss broadband deployment in West Virginia and the importance of transparency with social media platforms as it relates to how they moderate speech.

“I’ve been working with Facebook for several years to make their broadband deployment project a reality and I appreciate their interest in helping to better-connect West Virginia. Improving broadband access in our state has been a top priority since day one, which is why I launched my Capito Connect Plan and have been working with companies like Facebook to drive investment to the Mountain State. Facebook’s broadband investment that Mark Zuckerberg and I spoke about today is yet another example of how my Capito Connect initiative is working to achieve our connectivity goals right here at home,” Senator Capito said. “Also during our call today, I took the time to speak to Mr. Zuckerberg about how—in light of recent events—we can ensure that social media platforms like Facebook uphold American values like free speech and allow for civil discourse. Freedom of expression is so important and the need for transparency is critical. I look forward to hearing from Mr. Zuckerberg, as well as other tech executives, during our upcoming Commerce hearing on Wednesday.”

Senator Capito has long advocated for this partnership with Facebook and has advocated for similar investments. A timeline of her efforts to make this project a reality is included below: 

  • During a 2018 Senate Commerce Committee hearing, Senator Capito discussed the fiber issue directly with Mark Zuckerberg. During the hearing, Senator Capito received a commitment from him to help close the digital divide in West Virginia.
  • In March 2019, Senator Capito joined Governor Jim Justice (R-W.Va.) and others to announce Facebook’s plans to build fiber optic cable across West Virginia to connect data centers in Columbus, Ohio and Ashburn, Virginia.
  • In November 2019, Senator Capito joined state leaders and Facebook representatives for a ceremonial groundbreaking in southern West Virginia. Since then, Facebook has been actively in the construction process.


Facebook’s broadband investment project consists of an approximate 275-mile route across West Virginia, which will provide the state with enhanced fiber optic connectivity. Because of this investment, West Virginians and communities along the route will be able to access this fiber to build networks to serve their communities. Facebook’s infrastructure will serve as the interstate that allows local communities to partner with providers in West Virginia to build out the local access roads to serve their residents and businesses. These communities will also be able to apply for federal funds with the help of Senator Capito’s Capito Connect Plan. 

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