Public-, Private-Sector Leaders: Capito Connect Continues to Bridge the Digital Divide

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Since launching her Capito Connect plan in 2015, U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) has made significant headway in bridging the digital divide in West Virginia. In addition to Capito Connect, Senator Capito has also worked to improve connectivity by advancing legislative solutions, raising awareness through her role as co-chair of the Senate Broadband Caucus, working with members of the administration and leaders in the broadband community, and using her position on both the Senate Appropriations Committee and the Commerce Committee to advocate for West Virginia’s broadband needs.

As Capito Connect begins its fourth year, various public- and private-sector leaders are sharing their support.

West Virginia Broadband Enhancement Council

Senator Capito’s forward thinking Capito Connect initiative provides awareness, education and resources to communities throughout West Virginia. Her leadership in Washington along with her support of the West Virginia Broadband Enhancement Council will help to accelerate the expansion of reliable broadband throughout West Virginia.” – Rob Hinton, Chairman of the West Virginia Broadband Enhancement Council and Executive Director of the Upshur County Development Authority

Charleston Area Medical Center and the Partners in Health Network, Inc.

“Charleston Area Medical Center and Partners in Health Network, Inc. are very pleased to have had the opportunity to work with Senator Capito to showcase our telemedicine efforts. Knowing there are many opportunities for telemedicine throughout the state, we applaud Senator Capito for her efforts on the Capito Connect initiative. Considering improved opportunities for access to healthcare because of enhanced and high-speed broadband in West Virginia will be a game changer for many. We are supportive of the work Senator Capito has done.” – Tom Kuhn, M.S., M.H.A., Program Consultant at Charleston Area Medical Center (CAMC) and the Partners in Health Network, Inc.

CTIA-The Wireless Association

Senator Capito is a fierce advocate for expanding broadband access in West Virginia. Through her leadership with the Capito Connect Plan and her service on the Senate Commerce Committee, she is achieving results not only for her constituents, but for all Americans. Like Senator Capito, we believe that every American community should have access to the connectivity of wireless networks and the apps, services and platforms those connections enable. We look forward to continuing to work with her to ensure the right spectrum, infrastructure and regulatory policies are in place to help expand mobile broadband to more West Virginians and Americans.” – Meredith Baker, President and Chief Executive Officer of CTIA—The Wireless Association

Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

“High-speed broadband access is critical to economic opportunity, but unfortunately, there are still too many parts of this country where broadband is unavailable or unaffordable. I’ve seen this firsthand in West Virginia—where Senator Capito and I met with constituents and small businesses frustrated by their lack of high-quality broadband access. That’s why we will continue working together to bring digital opportunity to every American by removing regulatory obstacles that unnecessarily slow down broadband deployment and by targeting universal service funding to expand high speed Internet service to unserved areas.” – Ajit Pai, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

NTCA—The Rural Broadband Association

“Senator Capito set the tone as a leader on broadband when she introduced the Capito Connect plan during her first year as a senator. She understands the vital role broadband has in the economic well-being of our rural communities and she works tirelessly across party lines to advance rural broadband priorities on behalf of her constituents. NTCA appreciates her work as a co-chair of the Senate Broadband Caucus and looks forward to continuing to work together to close the digital divide.” – Shirley Bloomfield, Chief Executive Officer of NTCA—The Rural Broadband Association

Region VII Planning and Development Council

“On behalf of the WV Regional Planning and Development Councils, I would like to thank Senator Capito for her continued work and efforts to increase connectivity and broadband across West Virginia. Since 2015, the WV Regional Councils have seen increased activity in the form of developing and implementing broadband and connectivity projects throughout West Virginia, especially in rural areas of the state. Her leadership has enhanced federal programs and has brought more resources for broadband projects. For instance, in my region, she was instrumental in supporting a $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide access in Barbour, Randolph and Upshur Counties in north-central West Virginia. Projects like this one is a perfect example of the benefit of Capito Connect.” – Shane Whitehair, Executive Director of the Region VII Planning and Development Council

Williamson Health and Wellness

“Capito Connect is increasing opportunities for access to financial resources and investments to fund broadband projects in rural communities. Without these efforts targeting investment and development in rural locations that need it the most, many West Virginia businesses, homes, and classrooms would lack the potential to connect affordably to high-speed broadband.  Senator Capito’s leadership is building the momentum necessary to break-down connectivity barriers and level the playing field for West Virginia to participate in a global digital economy.” – Dr. C. Donovan “Dino” Beckett, Chief Executive Officer of Williamson Health and Wellness

To commemorate the third anniversary of Capito Connect, Senator Capito released a video highlighting how the program is making a difference in West Virginia. The video can be viewed here.

Additional information on Capito Connect is available here

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