VIRGINIA (WAVY) – Governor Ralph Northam and Spectrum hosted an event Thursday that highlighted the expansion of high-speed broadband internet along Virginia’s Eastern Shore.
The event took place Nov. 12, in Onancock, Virginia. Spectrum joined Northam in discussing the broadband expansion project that extends to residential customers and businesses in the Accomack and Northampton County areas.
Additional guests in attendance included U.S. Rep. Elaine Luria, State Sen. Lynwood Lewis, State Delegate Robert Bloxom, Virginia Chief Broadband Advisor Evan Feinman, and Onancock Mayor Fletcher Fosque.
“Broadband access is essential to modern life, connecting our communities to the wider world and helping people live, study, and work more efficiently,” Northam said. “Projects like this, bringing high-speed broadband to rural communities, are of critical importance, and I applaud Charter Spectrum for this investment in Accomack and Northampton counties that will make a real impact on these communities. My administration is committed to expanding broadband access to every part of the Commonwealth.”
With the $20 million investment by Charter Communications in infrastructure and technology, phase 1 of the project is already complete, with services already available to nearly 7,000 homes. The entire project is expected to be finished during the first quarter of 2021 allowing service to more than 17,500 local homes and businesses, according to a statement released Wednesday.
“The ongoing public health emergency has starkly illustrated the necessity of broadband – and the broadband gap that too many Virginians face,” said Sen. Mark Warner. “I’m pleased to see Charter expand its service on the Eastern Shore and encourage ISPs to redouble their efforts to expand service to unserved and underserved Virginians during this trying time.”
Over the last two years Spectrum has extended its network to more than 1.5 million unserved or underserved homes and businesses, about a third of that in rural areas. And from 2015-2019, Spectrum invested nearly $40 billion in infrastructure and technology to expand the reach of its network.
“We are focused on providing the best broadband internet, TV, mobile and voice services to the Accomack and Northampton County areas,” said Shannon Atkinson, Spectrum Regional Vice President, Field Operations. “We are now delivering superior connectivity services to local residents and businesses, at highly competitive prices and backed by an organization committed to craftsmanship and service.”
State Delegate Robert Bloxom, State Sen. Lynwood Lewis, and U.S. Rep. Elaine Luria cited the importance of broadband in their communities.
“In order to access healthcare online, start a business, complete school assignments at home and communicate with friends, an internet connection is vital to families of today,” Delegate Bloxom said. “I applaud Spectrum for their commitment to bringing broadband to the Eastern Shore of Virginia.”
“Expanding broadband into rural communities across Virginia is one of the most important things we can do to assist in expanding our economy and creating equity for all Virginians,” said Sen. Lewis. “It’s crucial for broadband providers like Spectrum to play a role in bridging the digital divide so that everyone has access to the information and tools they need to succeed in today’s environment. During these unprecedented times, these investments have become even more paramount.”
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