FRANKLIN, Va. (WAVY) — Gov. Ralph Northam was in Franklin on Wednesday to sign a bill expanding broadband access in Virginia.

House Bill 2304 was sponsored by Del. Roslyn Tyler, who represents part of Franklin in the 75th District.

Northam says the pandemic proved why greater broadband access is necessary for all Virginians, especially as some students still are in virtual learning.

“If you don’t have internet at your house, how do you go to school?” Northam asked.

The bill allows for investor-owner electric utilities to recover costs of and revenue from expanding broadband to unserved areas. Dominion Energy and Appalachian Power will work over the next few years to help connect areas across the commonwealth.

WAVY’s Jon Dowding was at the bill signing and will have more coming up.