Broadband–More Important Than Ever
December 4, 2020
Virginia REALTORS® helping to tell the story
Broadband access, also known as high-speed internet access, is now integral in the daily lives of most Virginians. What was once seen as a luxury, or something essential only to business, is now needed in many areas of our daily activity. Reliable broadband access is critical to your business and the lives of your clients. The COVID-19 pandemic has only heightened the need for dependable connections to work remotely, educate virtually, access health care via telemedicine, and shop for basic household necessities.
Understanding the value of internet access to homeownership, Virginia REALTORS® has supported policies and funding to expand and develop broadband internet access in the Commonwealth for many years.
Like in so many major policy discussions and debates, the Virginia REALTORS® has played a leading role. Your Government Relations team has worked with members of the House and Senate leadership and other stakeholders to move the issue forward.
Those efforts led to the passage of Virginia’s 2020-2020 biennial budget, including nearly $85 million for broadband expansion. In addition, the Governor directed $30 million in CARES Act funding for the purpose.
Virginia REALTORS® also partnered with the Commonwealth Connect Coalition, a group of business, charitable, and government organizations formed under the guidance of the Governor’s office that works together to promote the expansion of broadband access in Virginia. Virginia REALTORS® Chief Economist Lisa Sturtevant has been tapped by the Governor’s office to help with data collection as to the change in home and property value when there is accessible and affordable broadband.
A preliminary analysis, which will be released in the near future, of home values in Southwest Virginia (where dependable broadband is severely lacking) suggests that having access to high-speed internet at home could increase the value of the typical home by as much as 13%.
For more information about our advocacy efforts, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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