RD593 - Broadband Activities in the Commonwealth, An Annual Status Report – December 2017

Executive Summary:

Led by the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) and its partners, the Commonwealth of Virginia continues to work towards the goal of ubiquitous, affordable broadband access. In 2017, Virginia’s population with access to broadband remains at 96% and the Commonwealth continues to rank within the top ten nationally in average connection speed, average peak connection speed and broadband adoption.

CIT’s Broadband service line, which is charged with providing broadband technical assistance to unserved localities throughout the Commonwealth, helped to drive broadband expansion and promote broadband awareness in 31 localities through its nationally-recognized methodology, tools and resources. As the only resource in Virginia that is solely focused on expanding broadband access and adoption, CIT Broadband continues to promote and create opportunities for Virginia, as well as its localities, to be a leader in broadband.

The Broadband Advisory Council worked diligently to assess barriers to broadband and identify goals and strategies for improving broadband access in the Commonwealth. As a result of its 2017 work, the Broadband Advisory Council has advised the Governor that the Commonwealth’s top broadband priority should be expanding access to the unserved, and the council has submitted a number of recommendations to support this priority.

The Virginia Broadband map continually evolves to incorporate available federal data to present broadband availability, demand, and assets. CIT and its partners, Virginia Geographic Information Network (VGIN) and Virginia Tech’s Center for Geospatial Information Technology (CGIT) continue to create and maintain broadband tools and resources in order to better equip Virginia localities in their quest for improved broadband access and services.

The Virginia broadband team has made great strides in 2017 to improve broadband in the Commonwealth. This report highlights Virginia’s current broadband environment, initiatives and activities that have occurred in the past year, broadband-related state legislation, and federal legislation and activities.