RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — On Thursday, Gov. Ralph Northam announced that more than $1.5 million was pledged by several businesses to expand broadband access to underserved locations across the Commonwealth.

The funding is expected to further the ongoing efforts to bridge the digital divide for the approximately 233,000 locations in Virginia that lack access to broadband.

“These investments will play a vital role in connecting thousands across the Commonwealth,” said Northam. “We are thrilled to see the private and philanthropic sectors recognizing the need for broadband access and stepping up to support getting as many Virginians connected as soon as possible. With these investments, our goal of universal broadband by 2024 is even closer.”

The Cameron Foundation pledged $1.15 million to support broadband expansion in Sussex and Dinwiddie counties, followed by $250,000 from Facebook and $200,000 from Primis Bank.

According to the governor’s office, Virginia has generated $2 billion in funding to close the digital divide by 2024. In addition, $700 million was invested from American Rescue Plan funding.

“It is rewarding to see others stepping up to assist expanding broadband access,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “This administration has made significant progress in reaching Virginians with broadband access, and these investments from the Cameron Foundation, Facebook, Primis Bank, and Dominion Energy will help to further that mission.”

The Commonwealth has previously invested more than $124 million in grant funds to connect over 140,895 homes and businesses.

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