RICHMOND, Va. (WFXR) – On Wednesday, the General Assembly passed legislation calling for the creation of a Digital Affordability and Cost Effective Plan (DACEP).

HB 1265, carried by Delegate Suhas Subramanyam (D-District 87) will position the Commonwealth to receive up to $600 million in federal funds to make broadband more affordable to tens of thousands of Virginians.

The bill asks the Department of Housing and Community Development to develop the DACEP this year, which will include the creation of a broadband affordability map as well as a blueprint for how and where to deploy broadband affordability funds.

Del. Subramanyam says the plan is a necessary step in positioning the Commonwealth to be “first in line” for federal funding from the recently-passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Senators Chap Peterson and Jennifer Boysko carried companion legislation in the Senate.

“While Virginia has been a leader in broadband deployment, making broadband affordable to all has been a major challenge. A comprehensive plan for broadband affordability has been long overdue, and this legislation will make broadband affordable to tens of thousands of Virginians in all parts of the Commonwealth, including both rural and urban areas. With the DACEP, we will be first in line for hundreds of millions in federal broadband affordability funding and make internet access a reality for people all across the Commonwealth.”

Del. Suhas, Subramanyam (D-District 87)