FILE - Rural broadband

Dominion Energy is seeking partners to help expand rural broadband access in Virginia. Dominion is a public utility that provides power to homes and businesses in 18 states.

The company is looking to work with local governments and internet service providers to get information that will help them launch their pilot program designed to provide broadband internet to regions that do not have access to it.

"We're excited about how much this pilot could help rural Virginia communities," Ed Baine, senior vice president of Electric Distribution at Dominion, said in a news release. "High-speed Internet access will support economic development and social equity while simultaneously promoting public health, public safety, and educational opportunities for our customers who currently don't have broadband."

The general assembly and the governor’s office have been pushing initiatives to expand broadband access.

Earlier this year, Gov. Ralph Northam signed legislation into law that declared rural broadband access to be in the public interest and permitted Dominion Energy and Appalachian Energy to submit petitions for expanding broadband access to those regions that do not have it. Both companies have an annual cap of $60 million for proposals.

The bill was primarily sponsored by Del. Israel O’Quinn, R-Bristol.

Staff Writer

Tyler Arnold reports on Virginia and Ohio for The Center Square. He previously worked for the Cause of Action Institute and has been published in Business Insider, USA TODAY College, National Review Online and the Washington Free Beacon.