In the most policy driven campaign Virginians have seen in years, Republican gubernatorial nominee Ed Gillespie continues to release detailed policy after detailed policy. I was particularly impressed by his plan to expand access to broadband internet.
It’s refreshing to have a candidate for governor who understands the challenges we face in Southwest Virginia. Ed recognizes that in order for our schools and businesses to be successful and compete in the increasingly interconnected world, a reliable and high speed broadband connection is vital. Speeds in New Castle, as well as much of Southwest Virginia, seriously lag behind the rest of the state and the national average. With a national average of 17Mbps, many areas of Southwest Virginia are able to get no more than 3Mbps.
With Ed in the governor’s office, we will see more local and regional partnerships between the private and public sector that will provide more access to, and drive down the cost of, internet.
Virginia is at a turning point. If we’re unable to expand our infrastructure, we will continue to fall behind neighboring states. Falling behind in internet speeds doesn’t just mean we can’t watch as many Netflix streams, but more importantly, it means we will lose the interest of corporations, and by extension, lose jobs.
Though I was not born in Craig County, I am proud to call it my home of the last 12 years. This area of Virginia has everything going for it. We have one of the most beautiful pieces of land in the state, and a sense of community that is getting harder and harder to find in today’s world. As a network engineer, I understand, and want to try and impress that the one thing we need desperately is to not fall behind technologically. Internet access has become ever important in the 21st century, becoming almost a necessity in the modern world.
Ed wants to get Virginia growing again, and I’m eager to support him and his broadband plan this November.
Network Engineer and New Castle resident