Rep. Abigail Spanberger Visits Gordonsville, Pushes for Rural Broadband Boost
GORDONSVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger visited Gordonsville on Tuesday while working to boost rural broadband in her district.
In her first six months in congress, Spanberger has made access to high speed internet a priority. In June, she successfully lobbied for an amendment to a bipartisan appropriations bill to increase funding for broadband infrastructure by $55 million.
The Democrat spent about an hour in Gordonsville meeting with business owners and others up and down Main Street alongside Mayor Robert Coiner. Spanberger says broadband internet access ranked as a significant issue for 80 percent of the counties she represents and it's businesses like these in Gordonsville, and similar small towns and rural areas, that suffer.
"It becomes a larger question of what sort of businesses you can bring to a town or an area who can telecommute to a business in Richmond or Washington, D.C.," Spanberger said.
The issue has also become a talking point on the 2020 campaign trail. The week, Elizabeth Warren unveiled an $85 billion plan to expand broadband access, and other candidates like Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Amy Klobuchar have announced plans to address the issue as well.
"I think it shows that people recognize that we need to be prioritizing the development and the infrastructure across our communities that's going to propel our country and our economy forward," Spanberger said.
Roughly 26% of rural Americans say they don't have home access to broadband internet.
Spanberger is going to be back in central Virginia this weekend for a rural broadband summit at Louisa County High School.