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Attorney General of Virginia


Image of the Virginia AG Seal

Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

Mark Herring
Attorney General

202 North Ninth Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219

 

For media inquiries only, contact:  
Charlotte Gomer, Press Secretary
Phone: (804)786-1022 
Mobile: (804) 512-2552
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ATTORNEY GENERAL HERRING DEFENDING RURAL BROADBAND ACCESS IN COURT

~ Herring has intervened to defend Virginia’s new broadband policies in court; Internet access has become even more critical as much of Virginians’ daily lives have moved online ~

RICHMOND  – Attorney General Mark R. Herring has intervened in the lawsuit Grano v. Rappahannock Electric Cooperative to defend Virginia’s new policies that make it easier to expand broadband in rural areas of the Commonwealth. Internet access has become even more critical for basic needs over the past months while millions of Virginians have been working, learning, socializing and seeking healthcare from home, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has forced so many Virginians to move school, work, healthcare, and almost every other part of daily life online,” said Attorney General Herring. “Transitioning to an almost exclusively online lifestyle has really highlighted just how critical rural broadband access is. This is why I’m fighting to defend this important policy in court, because we need to make rural broadband access a top priority throughout the Commonwealth.”

 

This year, the General Assembly passed legislation that authorized utility companies in Virginia to expand broadband networks, especially in rural areas of the Commonwealth, by using existing “easements for the location and use of electric and communications facilities.” Allowing these utility companies to expand their broadband networks makes it that much easier for them to bring critical broadband access to portions of Virginia that have previously not had that access.

 

Ensuring that individuals who live in more rural areas have access to quality, affordable broadband has been important to Attorney General Herring, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted how desperately it’s needed. In May, Attorney General Herring joined a bipartisan coalition of 39 state attorneys general in urging Congress to help make sure that all Americans have the home internet connectivity necessary to participate in telemedicine, teleschooling, and telework as part of any legislation that provides relief and recovery resources related to addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 

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