Broadband Availability Study
The Broadband Availability Study is the next step to Improving Communication and Data Technology in Both the Business Sector and in Residential Settings, the first goal of Connecting Roanoke County to the World Strategic Initiative presented in the County’s 2016 Community Strategic Plan.
The goal of the Broadband Availability study is to identify areas of Roanoke County that are currently served, under-served, or not served by high-speed Internet as defined by the minimum standards published by the Federal Communications Commission (2015) of 25Mbps download and 3Mbps upload (25/3). For general information about Internet speed and how it relates to typical usage, please visit the FCC Broadband Speed Guide.
Identifying areas that express a need or unmet demand for high-speed Internet will enable Roanoke County to explore strategies to expand access to high-speed Internet services across our community. Strategies may include state or federal grant opportunities, public-private partnerships, or other as yet unidentified means to expand the availability of high-speed Internet services to unserved or under-served parts of Roanoke County.
Communications and Information Technology staff will compile data about existing high-speed Internet availability through cable, fiber, wireless, satellite or fixed point providers and validate this data set through citizen surveys. Survey data will be collected online, through hard copy printed surveys distributed through Roanoke County Public Schools and Roanoke County Public Libraries, and also through targeted mailings to outlying geographic areas of the County as identified by the County’s GIS and Communications and Information Technology staff.
Survey Promotion & Deadlines
The survey will be promoted through the County’s website, Roanoke Valley Television, and various social media outlets. Due to the nature of the survey and the potential study results, it is expected that the survey will also be covered by local media. The initial survey phase begins in December 2019 with the opening of the online survey, followed by mailings and school distribution in January 2020. Survey results will be collected through February 28, 2020.
Analysis and Opportunities
The study data will be analyzed to evaluate the next steps in improving high-speed Internet access across Roanoke County. It is expected to identify current infrastructure, partners, partnership agreements, grants opportunities, unmet demand, and prevalent residential internet speeds in the community, along with gaps in each of these areas that may be closed through future action.
More Information & Additional Resources
- FCC High-speed Broadband Speed Guide
- FCC Household Broadband Guide
- FCC Getting Broadband Q&A
- VACo Blueprint for Broadband
High-Speed Internet Study Survey
Help Connect Roanoke County to the World!
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Printed surveys will be mailed to selected households in January 2020, and also sent home with students through Roanoke County Public Schools.
Completed surveys can be mailed back to Roanoke County or delivered to any Roanoke County Public Library location.
For more information about Roanoke County’s High-Speed Internet Study, please contact:
Director, Communications and Information Technology