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Commonwealth's Counties

Virginia seeks survey input in drafting digital equity plan to access federal funds

The Office of Broadband at the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is in the process of developing the Virginia Digital Opportunity Plan, which will assess the state of the digital divide in Virginia and enable the Commonwealth to apply for Federal broadband funding from the Digital Equity Act Capacity Grant program, which will award $1.44 billion over 5 fiscal years to states, possessions/territories, and tribal entities for the purpose of implementing their State Digital Equity Plans (or similar plan). For more information, including determination of state allocations and eligible uses of funds, see the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) frequently asked questions (FAQ) webpage.

Under the Digital Equity Act, states interested in participating in the State Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program must first apply for State Digital Equity Planning Grants and complete State Digital Equity Plans.

To help inform the development of the Commonwealth’s Plan, DHCD has launched a digital opportunity survey that aims to understand where respondents reside within the Commonwealth and their current levels of broadband access, the affordability of the broadband services, and their level of comfort navigating the internet and digital devices. This information will be used in helping determine how much federal funds will be allocated to Virginia to meet the needs of its citizenry. All Virginians are welcome and encouraged to take the survey.

VACo Contacts: Joe Lerch, AICP and Jeremy Bennett

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