Northern Neck Electric Cooperative hosted U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine on June 30 for a regional discussion about broadband. Kaine visited the Northern Neck region to better understand the unique issues facing broadband deployment in rural areas.

Jimmy Carr, CEO of All Points Broadband; Sen.Tim Kaine; Brad Hicks, president and CEO of Northern Neck Electric Cooperative; and Ed Diggs, manager, Electric Distribution Grid Solutions for Dominion Energy.

“As I work in the Senate on a bipartisan bill to fund much-needed infrastructure projects for our nation, I know that funding for broadband is absolutely critical. We must provide internet connectivity to communities across the Commonwealth to bridge the digital divide,” he said. “I was glad to meet with the Northern Neck Electric Cooperative in Warsaw today to hear directly from them on how I can best help expand broadband to underserved areas across Virginia.”

Representatives from Dominion Energy, All Points Broadband and the counties within NNEC’s service territory participated in the discussion. Brad Hicks, president and CEO of NNEC, kicked off the meeting, highlighting the cooperative’s unique role in connecting communities.

“For almost a century, electric cooperatives like ours have been on a mission to connect our communities in a safe, reliable, and affordable way. It started with electricity, and now the need for our members has become broadband. We are thankful that Sen. Kaine is raising awareness for this important issue,” Hicks said.

Local elected officials in the roundtable shared both personal anecdotes of the need for broadband for education and healthcare as well as the high hopes for economic vitality. Kaine also received an update on the Northern Neck Broadband Initiative.

—Report by Kyle Allwine, Manager, Public Relations, Northern Neck Electric Cooperative