To the editor:
This week I finally decided that the slow and unreliable internet I get through Verizon is inadequate for my needs. Not being able to participate in Zoom meetings during the pandemic isolates me from work, church and civic involvement. If I had a child in school, I don’t know what I would do.
I decided to go ahead and spend the money to sign up for Suresite. My neighbors are having success with this provider. But when I called to make an appointment, the salesperson said, “Oh, Louisa. I’m sorry. We can’t take any more customers in Louisa. Louisa is too congested.”
This week the Virginia General Assembly completed their budget session and dedicated $85 million for rural broadband grants. Sounds great, doesn’t it? No, not really. Louisa County can’t apply unless they have a private partner. But no potential private partner exists for us.
Abigail Spanberger, 7th district representative to U.S. Congress, put the problem well when she said: “There’s no business interest in bringing high-speed internet to some of the communities I represent …which is why there has been internet for 20 years just over the border in the county that’s more suburban — and a couple miles down the road it’s just not an option.”
Federal help is what we need. Rural electrification programs brought electricity to our county in the 1930s and 40s. Spanberger has been doing everything possible to get funds allocated for rural internet. We need to keep her in Congress to continue pushing for our needs here in Louisa.