Northam administration focused on expanding transportation, rural broadband – Bristol Herald Courier

It also includes planned acquisition of 386 miles of railroad right-of-way and 223 miles of track from CSX, and an investment of more than $1 billion in additional infrastructure improvements aimed at expanding Amtrak and VRE services, further separating of freight and passenger rail in Virginia and preserving future rail corridors, according to a statement from the administration.

Broadband expansion

Northam came to this region, and the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center in Abingdon, where he and Virginia U.S. Sen. Mark Warner jointly announced plans to provide broadband service to every Virginia resident by 2024.

“A pet peeve of mine has been limited access to broadband in rural Virginia, so we really tried to make that a priority. When I came into office, Virginia was investing less than $4 million a year, and this year we’re putting over $2 billion,” Northam said. “The experts in broadband told me, when I started four years ago, it would take 10 years to get universal broadband. I said no, that’s too long.”

When Northam took office in 2018, more than 600,000 Virginia residents didn’t have broadband access.

The needs and shortcomings became much clearer in 2020 when the majority of Virginia’s public school students were trying to participate in classes at home and part of the workforce was attempting to work remotely.


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