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Discussion on broadband expansion highlights Region 7 Meeting

VACo breached the halfway mark of its 2019 Regional Meeting schedule by traveling to picturesque Orange County on June 13. County officials, VACo partners, VACo staff, and many more gathered at James Madison’s Montpelier, the beautifully restored historic home of the Father of the United States Constitution, co-author of the Federalist Papers, and fourth President of the United States. What better venue to discuss the importance of good governance?

On the evening’s agenda were group discussions about the issues facing county governments and communities within VACo Region 7, a presentation on broadband expansion by Orange County Supervisors and County Staff, and VACo legislative updates. But before the events officially began, attendees enjoyed sweet tea and delicious BBQ as they met and mingled with their colleagues, learning more about the differences and similarities between their respective counties.

We were excited to hear Orange County Board of Supervisors Chair, Jim White, Orange County Broadband Program Manager Lewis Foster, and Orange County Director of Management Services Stephanie Straub, describe their vision for broadband expansion within their community. These speakers shared their plans to expand internet access by, among other things, utilizing multiple methods of delivery, working with regional partners, investing in dual-role infrastructure, and identifying grants and funding sources.

The group discussions of the challenges facing the counties within Region 7 were both important and informative. County representatives discussed their concerns surrounding school security, solar development, population growth or migration, and broadband expansion. VACo’s legislative staff shared how the General Assembly addressed such challenges in its recent session, and then moved on to updates about how the Northam Administration has continued to work on these issues.

The 2019 VACo Region 7 Meeting boasted roughly 45 attendees. VACo extends our sincere appreciation to both Orange County and Montpelier for being such gracious hosts, and thanks all those who made time to join us for such an important event.

Orange County Broadband Initiative

VACo Contact: Angela Inglett

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