Advocate for Internet Access & Affordability
Access to high speed internet touches almost every aspect of modern life yet there are an estimated 660,000 Virginians who don’t have access to broadband. Almost 50% of rural Virginians lack access to high speed internet and 29% don’t have any internet service at all. The Northam Administration has set a goal of 100% connectivity by 2028. Digital learning and connectivity at school and at home enables students to be prepared for tomorrow’s jobs and levels the playing field for students regardless of their affluence level or geographic location.
- Virginia PTA urges the General Assembly to increase funding for the Virginia Telecommunications Initiative (VATI) and other programs to expedite infrastructure development to provide every Virginia household with access to affordable, high-speed internet.
- Virginia PTA supports programs and funding that provide every student participating in distance learning with a device or laptop computer provided by the school.
VIRGINIA PTA IMPACT
In 2021 Virginia PTA's active advocacy and collaboration with coalition partners resulted in a historic $100M investment in the Virginia Telecommunications Initiative (VATI) which provides grant funds to local governments to expand high-speed internet access in unserved areas. Additionally, Virginia PTA successfully advocacted for afforability programs that have provided new federal and state level discounts for low-income families.
Start advocating for the students in your community by sharing information about how to access the internet and broadband affordability programs.
Help #TakeAction4Kids by speaking at Board of Supervisor or School Board meetings, emailing your legislators, getting active on social media, writting letters to editor, joining a virtual rally or attend Virginia PTA's Capitol Day.
- How to Advocate for Broadband (Start at minute 14:56) (En Espanol)
- Virginia PTA Advocacy Afternoon: Virginia’s Digital Divide (8/5/2020)
PTA POSITIONS & POLICY LETTERS
- Virginia PTA Position: Virginia’s Phased School Reopening
- National PTA Resolution: Distance and Remote Learning for K-12 Students
- Policy Letter: July 22, 2020 National PTA on E-Rate Program
- Policy Letter: March 23, 2020 National PTA on Emergency Connectivity Fund
- Policy Letter: November 2019 Virginia PTA Block Grant to VATI Fund
RESOURCES & RESEARCH
- Commonwealth Connects Coalition
- Commonwealth Connects Coalition 2020 Report
- Rural Virginia Broadband Fact Sheet
- WiFi Hotspots Map
- State Council of Higher Education 2020 Study on Broadband Access
QUESTIONS: Email Vice President of Advocacy