Broadband access – or lack thereof – impacts nearly every aspect of our lives. The pandemic drove this home in a way never before experienced. From being able to go to school and work online, to accessing healthcare and mental health services, to enabling civic participation, to supporting social connections, providing entertainment, and advancing quality of life…Broadband is the essential technology that enables it all.
With nearly half-a-million households across Virginia still lacking adequate broadband access, many Virginia funders have recognized that advancing their missions are inextricably linked to overcoming digital divides.
To support our members’ efforts and advance the Commonwealth’s commitment to achieving universal connectivity by 2024, VFN is proud to release our newest publication: Virginia’s Connected Future: A Guide for Funders and Philanthropists to Address Digital Divides in the Commonwealth.
This guide serves three functions:
- It provides funders a high-level, plain language overview of broadband developments in the Commonwealth of Virginia with a focus on the pandemic years of 2020-2022
- It chronicles the role of several VFN members and other Virginia funders in broadband deployment, and
- It serves as an invitation and welcome to funders – of all shapes and sizes – who are considering investments in broadband or who are just starting to think about the critical role broadband plays in areas such as education, healthcare, economic development, workforce, and more.
Special thanks to our author, Dr. Christopher Ali, to the Danville Regional Foundation and PATH Foundation for their generous support, and to the many members and thought leaders who contributed to this body of work.