VIDEO: Capito Highlights Progress in Improving Connectivity in West Virginia
Celebrates three years of Capito Connect successes
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Three years after launching her Capito Connect initiative, U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) today released a video highlighting the progress made in connecting the Mountain State. As one of her first actions as a U.S. senator, Senator Capito launched Capito Connect in an effort to tackle West Virginia’s broadband challenges. Since then, the initiative, coupled with Senator Capito’s efforts, have led to new opportunities and investments for connectivity across the state.
Additional background and Capito Connect successes included below.
Through her Capito Connect plan and her work as a co-chair of the Senate Broadband Caucus, Senator Capito has long made improving access to broadband in West Virginia and across the country a priority. As former chair of the Appropriations subcommittee with jurisdiction over the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and a current member of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Senator Capito has worked closely with FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, along with administration officials, to help close the digital divide. Also as a current member of the Committee on Appropriations, Senator Capito continues to work diligently to secure funding for critical broadband-related programs.
Additional Capito Connect highlights include:
- Securing $600 million in the recently passed omnibus for the U.S. Department of Agriculture rural broadband pilot program.
- Securing a $3 million Community Connect grant to provide for nearly 4,000 residents and employers in Barbour, Randolph, and Upshur counties.
- Securing a total of $1.5 million in Community Development Block Grant funding for twelve West Virginia communities to help them deliver high-speed broadband to residents and businesses.
- Increasing rural broadband funding for the Appalachian Regional Commission and focusing U.S. Economic Development Administration funding on broadband projects.
- Working with Capon Springs and Farms to find a solution to address their internet issues.
- Hosting listening sessions in all 55 counties to hear directly from West Virginians about connectivity needs.
- Helping communities understand the federal resources available and ways they can take advantage of these opportunities through the Capito Connect Guidebook.
Since I came to the Senate, connecting West Virginia has been one of my top priorities.
Reliable and affordable broadband is the key to creating so many new opportunities for West Virginia families, students, and job creators.
But, despite all of the technological advancements we hear about today, West Virginia is being left behind.
That’s why when I was elected to the Senate, I launched Capito Connect to bridge the digital divide in our state.
The plan has served as a roadmap for bringing affordable, high-speed internet access to homes, businesses, and classrooms across West Virginia.
Three years later, thanks to Capito Connect, we are making real progress.
Whether it’s expanding cellular service in Paw Paw and Lincoln County by initiating the search for providers, securing a multi-million dollar grant to provide internet access to nearly 4,000 West Virginians, hosting four visits with FCC officials to bring attention to our state’s broadband needs, increasing rural broadband funding for the Appalachian Regional Commission, or holding listening sessions in all 55 counties to hear directly from West Virginians, we are making a difference.
Connecting our communities won’t happen overnight, but we are headed in the right direction.
As we head into the fourth year of Capito Connect, please join me in tackling this critical issue.
Keep sharing your feedback or check out the Capito Connect guidebook on my website to learn more about the federal resources available for broadband expansion and improvement.
I am excited to continue and build on the work we started three years ago, and I am committed to knocking down even more barriers to better connect our communities.
This is about the future of our state.
Let’s close the digital divide in West Virginia.
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