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King George to settle with bankrupt broadband company

Wireless Authority update:

The King George Wireless Authority attempted to bring affordable wireless Internet service throughout the county, including less dense areas without access.
The effort failed, despite it being conducted strictly under state law and backed by county cash.

Last week, the King George Wireless Authority authorized a mutual release and settlement agreement with Virginia Broadband LLC, in accordance with the terms of a plan devised for the company by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Virginia.

The March 3 vote was taken following a closed session and without comment from authority members.

“Virginia Broadband’s plan resulted in all their creditors receiving payments that were much-reduced from the original value of the claims submitted, including the King George County Wireless Authority. While frustrating, that is often the result, and indeed the purpose of bankruptcy,” said King George County Attorney Eric Gregory. “A mutual dismissal of this litigation will avoid additional attorneys’ fees and costs for the wireless authority, which is a positive benefit.”

King George County and the George Washington Regional Commission are promoting an Internet speed mapping application to assist in determining the current state of service in this region.

Virginia Tech’s Accelerate Virginia is a new broadband mapping project that seeks to expand high-speed Internet access across the state. The input will help to verify the state broadband map and identify areas in need of affordable broadband infrastructure investment.

Perform the test by visiting and your results will be provided to you. They also will be compared with other tests and mapped for determining hi-speed availability and requirements in the area.

The company has agreed to dismiss counterclaims it filed in response to litigation initiated by the wireless authority and the county for breach of contract in the King George circuit court back in December 2011. That filing also asked to recoup the money it lent the company with interest due.

This means the county authority will end its unsatisfactory relationship with Virginia Broadband and not get back the bulk of the $713,000 it lent to the company. The authority will be provided the equipment purchased with the loan money.

In 2003, King George began to implement new state legislation for underserved localities to establish a wireless authority and initiate a public-private plan for widespread wireless.
It was never easy and took years to discover it is still impossible.

The wireless authority was formed in late 2006. It investigated possible options and Virginia Broadband was selected from four companies. After lengthy negotiation, a contract was signed in January 2008.

The authority lent money to the company to purchase equipment and provided the use of county-owned and controlled structures, including cell towers and water towers on which to install the equipment.

The company was to meet stated goals, such as making broadband available to about 70 percent of the county having about 80 percent of known structures during the first 24-months.

It was expected to pay back the loan within five years while providing wireless broadband internet service to ever-increasing subscribers.

Despite numerous efforts to enforce the terms of the agreement, the goals for Internet service were not achieved and payback payments were not made.

In August 2011, the wireless authority terminated its contract with the company then filed legal in December 2011.

When a preliminary hearing was held in May 2012, the statement was made in open court that the company only had about 20 customers in King George.

In November 2012, the company filed for bankruptcy. That action put the litigation with the county authority on hold.

The members of the board of supervisors/wireless authority have commented in the past, venting a little of their frustration with the issue, particularly when newer residents to the county have chided them for not doing more.

One of the last times members became engaged on the topic was November 2013.

“I don’t have any government solution. We cannot order them to come and put service in the county. It doesn’t work that way,” said Supervisor Joe Grzeika.

Last year, supervisors appointed a technology committee peopled with interested county residents. It is to make recommendations on policies and matters related to technology, and make the board aware of effective, efficient technology opportunities.

Taken from The Journal
Tuesday, 10 March 2015
By Phyllis Cook

Residents and businesses asked to help identify areas in need of broadband

In an effort to evaluate Internet access in the New River Valley, Virginia Tech’s eCorridors program is asking residents to test the speed of their Internet connection using the Accelerate Virginia speed test. To participate, run the two-minute Internet speed test from your home Internet connection; Residents may also obtain a report of their Internet access statistics and learn how their connectivity compares to that of others in their zip code by clicking on “proceed” after the speed test is finished and then “view my summary”.

Often referred to as high-speed Internet service, broadband allows faster and richer interactions between citizens and government, businesses and customers, educators and students, libraries and patrons, and families and friends. Along with other sources, the data collected by the Accelerate Virginia Internet speed testing campaign will provide a more accurate understanding of broadband availability, identify areas potentially in need for improved services and support Virginia’s state-wide broadband mapping initiative.

With a focus on affordable access to broadband, the Blacksburg Broadband Steering Committee was formed in 2013. Made up of representatives from the Blacksburg business community including the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council, the Blacksburg Partnership, Town of Blacksburg, the New River Valley Planning District Commission, and Virginia Tech, the Steering Committee is working to develop a model for gigabit-speed network that can make affordable, high-speed internet available for every home, business and institution in the community.

The Broadband Steering Committee is also releasing a Request for Information (RFI) soliciting ideas and recommendations for developing, upgrading, and expanding broadband infrastructure in the Blacksburg area while improving access for residents and businesses. Responses to the RFI will be used to propose a model for deploying gigabit-speed broadband using the Blacksburg community as the initial service area and eventually replicating the model throughout the region for all who wish to participate.

Public, private and community organizations, or entities with a commercial interest in the development of last-mile, high-speed broadband, are encouraged to reply and provide ideas and recommendations. Potential respondents should contact Christy Straight at 540-639-9313 or for more information. The RFI can be found at

If you have questions or problems running the speed test; or if your residence is in a location that does not have any available Internet service and you’d like us to make note of that, please contact Jean Plymale at (540) 231-2270 or

Taken from Town of Blacksburg, VA : News & Updates

NRVPDC Announcements

Request for Information (RFI) - Last Mile Fiber Deployment in the Town of Blacksburg


I. Introduction and Background

The New River Valley has long been on the leading edge of technology as demonstrated to the world when the Blacksburg Electronic Village launched in 1993 as the first community to have access to the internet. Continued success is increasingly dependent on the formation of collaborative partnerships and, at times, a regional perspective to advance broadband infrastructure for economic development and quality of life. The Town of Blacksburg and Virginia Tech have partnered to participate in a number of national broadband initiatives including GigU and US Ignite.

Established in 1798, the Town of Blacksburg is located between the Blue Ridge and Allegheny mountains in southwest Virginia, 35 miles south of Roanoke on Interstate 81. The Town is also home to Virginia Tech, with the university's 30,000 students more than doubling the Town's population.

The region's government and business leaders have come to the conclusion that advanced broadband connectivity that is exceptional in its performance and affordability requires working proactively as partners with localities, the businesses, educational institutions, citizens, and service providers. In 2013, the Blacksburg Broadband Initiative Steering Committee was formed, made up of representatives from the Blacksburg business community including the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council and the Blacksburg Partnership, the Town of Blacksburg, the New River Valley Planning District Commission, and Virginia Tech to develop a gigabit-speed network that can make affordable, high-speed internet available for every home, business and institution in the community.

A middle-mile broadband network now serves the area with 200 miles of open-access fiber expandable to 200 Gbps. The network connects to Citizens Telephone Cooperative, Mid- Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation, and Bristol Virginia Utilities. Citizens Cooperative acts as the broker and network operator. A number of private broadband providers are delivering internet service in the Blacksburg community, in addition to publiclyheld broadband infrastructure owned by the Town of Blacksburg and Virginia Tech. However, none of these offer service approaching the preferred 1 Gbps, symmetrical speed this project aims to achieve.

A neighboring project to Blacksburg is the creation of the Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority which seeks to build a high-speed, redundant regional network ring as part of its efforts to improve the broadband availability. These efforts demonstrate a considerable interest in the local business community, higher education, and public sector to create sustainable high-speed broadband connectivity in Southwest Virginia that can support an innovative, globally competitive economy.

To ensure the region's relevance and leadership in broadband connectivity, the Steering Committee is investigating a proof-of-concept for last-mile and, if needed, middle-mile deployment of high-speed residential and, potentially, commercial broadband service, using the Blacksburg community as the initial service area that may be replicated throughout the region for all who wish to participate.

II. RFI Process and Overview

This RFI is issued as part of the Request For Proposals (RFP) process and seeks information that the Blacksburg Broadband Initiative Steering Committee can potentially use to develop a final RFP for deployment of truly high-speed broadband infrastructure that can accommodate the ever-growing demand for the highest speeds available in symmetrical broadband internet access. Information is being sought not just from entities that may ultimately bid to construct all or part of the broadband network, but also from public and private entities that may be interested in partnering with the Broadband Initiative to contribute assets or provide support for the initiative in other ways.

Responses to this RFI will be used to develop a proposed model for deploying gigabit service for the Broadband Initiative and will guide the ultimate investment of public and/or private resources. This process will also help identify potential partners and interested parties, and develop a feasible pilot project in the town to deploy high-speed service.

While it is highly recommended that all eligible entities respond to this RFI if they wish to respond to a future RFP, responses to this RFI are considered non-binding proposals and are only used to assist the Broadband Initiative as it performs its due diligence and gather information for planning and specification preparation purposes.

III. Need, Goals and Objectives

The Steering Committee identified several goals for broadband in the region and this pilot project. As an overarching goal, the committee's purpose is to lay the appropriate groundwork and begin the process of building a next-generation infrastructure system in the Town of Blacksburg as part of a larger regional effort to transform the New River and Roanoke Valleys into an environment conducive to creating and supporting leaders in the knowledge based economy.
Additionally, they have set goals to:
  • Develop an open access fiber-optic network in Blacksburg capable of connecting every home, business and institution, thus providing affordable high speed (gigabit +) access to all.
  • Develop and promote the most technologically advanced internet network possible in the greater Blacksburg area for the purposes of attracting and retaining innovation-based businesses, assisting in the ability to conduct research, furthering academic endeavors, and enhancing residential access/bandwidth.
  • Enable local networks to provide our region's citizens with the network performance, capacity, and connections they need to compete successfully in the global marketplace.
The Steering Committee intends that all relevant partners are brought together at the table, identifying appropriate phases and determining optimal timing, and coordinating efforts for the most efficient way to deploy new infrastructure to include leveraging existing resources. The Steering Committee encourages private sector solutions to develop and manage a gigabit broadband service in a competitive environment, with the potential for public sector resources to be employed in support of a solution.

The Town has been participating in broadband discussions for well over a year and has the population density to make such a pilot project successful. There is an active initiative in Roanoke for enhancing fiber connectivity for businesses in downtown Roanoke, and these initiatives will be coordinated through collaboration as each move forward with its respective, unique model.

The Broadband Initiative is issuing this RFI to gather information, ideas and recommendations for developing, upgrading, and expanding broadband infrastructure in Blacksburg and improving access for Blacksburg residents and businesses. The Broadband Initiative views possible respondents fitting within one or more provider categories as described below.
  1. Construction: Firms which provide fiber cable installation and required construction services including, but not limited to, digging trenches and duct banks, building conduit, pulling cable, erecting facilities, installing initial electronics, and other functions connecting networks together or to users.
  2. Maintenance: Firms who repair broken fiber cables, provide replacement fiber, fix broken aerial structures, replace compromised facility structures, and generally keep the network's physical elements in working order.
  3. Network Operator: Firms responsible for the operation of the network including managing the performance of the switches, servers, software, and data traffic within the network. The network operator will have the relationship with the network hubs and interconnections, run the network operations center (NOC), and dispatch maintenance and other technical resources to provision, maintain, and repair the network as needed.
  4. Service and Content Providers: Firms who provide access to the internet, manage the customer relationship, handle billing, process payments, provide customer relations, provide technical support, undertake home installations, and serve as a customer service contact. Also, firms who create and distribute online content such as news and entertainment, provide hosting and cloud services, and deliver other internet service and content.
IV. Schedule

The schedule for the RFI process is as follows:

RFI Release November 10, 2014
Providers meeting November 10, 2014
Deadline for written questions from potential Respondents November 24, 2014
Deadline for answers from committee December 8, 2014
Deadline for statement of intent to respond December 17, 2014
Responses due January 8, 2015
Meetings with Respondents February 2015

V. How Responses Will Be Used

Responses to this RFI will be used to develop a proposed model for deploying gigabit service for the Broadband Initiative and will guide the ultimate investment of public and private resources. This process will also help identify potential partners and interested parties, and develop a feasible pilot project in the town to deploy high-speed service. Following receipt of submissions, the Steering Committee will schedule meetings with Respondents to offer opportunities to elaborate on submissions.

The Steering Committee welcomes ideas and recommendations from all interested or potentially interested parties, including public, private and community organizations, entities with a commercial interest in the project, and potential public and private partners who may wish to assist the Broadband Initiative in development of last-mile and, as needed, middle-mile high-speed broadband. Potential respondents are encouraged to collaborate in offering ideas and recommendations.

The Steering Committee intends that all relevant partners are brought together at the table, identifying appropriate phases and determining optimal timing, and coordinating efforts for the most efficient way to deploy new infrastructure to include leveraging existing resources.

VI. Specific Requests for Information

In this RFI, the Broadband Initiative Steering Committee seeks comments from Respondents for the following items. The Steering Committee encourages private sector solutions to develop and manage a gigabit broadband service in a competitive environment, with the potential for public sector resources to be employed in support of a solution. Respondents should feel free to propose alternative business models and network solutions that could be used to meet the Broadband Initiative's goals.

General Information
  1. Background information for each organization represented by the submission:
    1. Name, address, website, type of organization including types of services and products offered, overview of strengths and abilities of organization.
    2. Identify a primary contact and contact information including name, title, organization name, address, phone number, and email address.
  2. Description of relevant prior organizational experience related to the construction and management of broadband networks.
  3. management of broadband networks. C. Description of currently owned and/or operated infrastructure in the region that could facilitate achievement of the committee's desired goals.
  4. Identification of prior and/or current relationship(s) with other entities that could aid in the achievement of these goals.
Increase of bandwidth
  1. New network services are constantly driving up bandwidth demand. What is an appropriate amount of bandwidth for users ranging from in-home use to businesses?
  2. How can existing fiber be optimized to increase bandwidth capacity for a variety of users?
  3. Upload speeds capable of making end users into producers rather than merely consumers of information are essential. The current level of speed asymmetry found in many cable and DSL services can be viewed as detrimental to the innovative capacity of businesses and residential users. Solutions that offer symmetrical bandwidth as a baselevel option to the business and home users are preferred.
Availability of broadband to all
  1. What specific steps could be taken to make broadband available to all residents?
  2. What minimum requirements for services and facilities should be required to ensure that underserved populations have adequate access to the Internet?
  3. What is the availability of wireless and wireline broadband services in Blacksburg including information about any underserved areas?
  4. Are there areas where it is impractical to require a new entrant to build a network because businesses or residences already are servable by multiple advanced networks? What are those areas?
  5. Does the Respondent have any ideas, proposals and recommendations on how to speed deployment of wireless and wireline broadband infrastructure so that Internet services are universally available and existing infrastructure is upgraded or replaced faster than would occur under a "business as usual" case?
  6. What could be the retail price range of this service? The steering committee is evaluating other markets' offerings and pricing.
  7. Does the Respondent recommend any specific actions prior to network activation that would ease the transition, especially for users with limited technical expertise?
Encouraging broadband deployment
  1. Are there ways in which the Town could alter its permitting and contracting practices that would encourage deployment of advanced facilities? Are there additional steps that the Town should consider? Respondents are encouraged to provide a description of any processes, rules or regulations at the local level that could impact the feasibility or underlying economics associated with the proposed solutions. Submissions should include an explanation of any forms of proposed regulatory relief, including streamlined permitting, which could improve the economic case for the business models or network solutions proposed or for other network solutions that Respon
  2. What changes would be most valuable?
  3. Should the Town install fiber or conduit as part of future construction or repair or roads, or as part replacement of communications system? If it does, can it be assured that it could recover its costs? How?
  4. What kind of key customer(s) would be useful in encouraging deployment? What kind would be of little use in encouraging deployment?
  5. Are there particular Town service/facility needs that may be of significant value to a person seeking to deploy all or part of the broadband network?
  6. Are there particular Town service/facility needs that may be of little value to a person seeking to deploy all or part of the broadband network?
  7. How can the Town can facilitate and foster wireless and wireline broadband deployment through streamlined processes, service contracts, creating partnerships with entities, making Town-owned assets available to network operators or taking other steps to leverage and coordinate ongoing infrastructure improvement efforts to reduce network deployment costs?
  1. Who would own the system under the model? If ownership would be held by one of several partners, what benefits would other partners maintain for their role(s) in the creation of the network?
Broadband deployment – interest
  1. Is Respondent interested in building all or part of a gigabit-speed broadband network?
  2. Describe your interest.
  3. What approach might the Steering Committee take to an RFP that would encourage you to apply to bid to build all or part of the broadband network?
  4. Does the Respondent have any previous case studies that could provide insight for the Steering Committee?
  5. Can the Respondent provide materials on any other municipal networks that have adopted the approach and/or best practices the Respondent recommends?
Broadband deployment – timetable
  1. What is the typical duration of a project like this and how would the ultimate timeline look?
  2. What actions can be taken to reduce construction time or other elements of project deployment?
If Respondents have additional suggestions or comments not otherwise utilized in their submissions, they may be included at the end of their response.

VII. Communications

All general communications regarding the RFI, including the statement of intent to respond or requests for additional information should be directed to:

Christy Straight, Regional Planner
New River Valley Planning District Commission
6580 Valley Center Drive, Suite 124
Radford, VA 24141

Requests for additional information must be submitted no later than November 24, 2014. Answers will be provided by December 8, 2014.

VIII. Delivery of Information

Proposals must be sent by email or via an FTP site (with the link delivered by email by the submittal deadline). Additional copies of the proposals can also be mailed or hand delivered, allowing sufficient delivery time to ensure physical receipt by close of business on Thursday, January 8, 2015. Responses received after this time will not be considered.

Christy Straight, Regional Planner
New River Valley Planning District Commission
6580 Valley Center Drive, Suite 124
Radford, VA 24141

IX. Disclaimer

The committee will use information and materials received in response to this RFI to inform ongoing conversations in the region regarding successful strategies for the expansion of nextgeneration infrastructure. This RFI should not be construed as a Request for Proposal by the Steering Committee, the localities involved, or any future public entity created to address this issue, nor shall this RFI be considered any sort of obligation to any products or services offered by Respondents. Following receipt of submissions, the committee will schedule meetings with Respondents to offer opportunities to elaborate on submissions.

No material submitted in response to this RFI will be returned. Submissions in response to this RFI may be used by the Blacksburg Broadband Steering Committee in any way deemed appropriate. All submissions are subject to the Freedom of Information Act. Trade secrets or proprietary information submitted by a proposer shall not be subject to public disclosure under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act; however, the proposer must invoke the protections of Section 2.2-4342D of the Code of Virginia, in writing, either before or at the time the data or other materials to be protected and state the reasons why protection is necessary. The proprietary or trade secret material submitted must be identified by some distinct method such as highlighting or underlining and must indicate only the specific words, figures, or paragraphs that constitute trade secret or proprietary information. The classification of an entire proposal document, line item prices and/or total proposal prices as proprietary or trade secrets is not acceptable and will result in rejection of the submission.

Taken from New River Valley Planning District Commission

Accelerate Virginia Needs Your Help for Better Internet

STAUNTON, VA-- A Virginia Tech website is seeking to map the quality of your internet. The site hopes to use that information to bring better internet to Virginia. They want your help.

Accelerate Virginia asks a few quick questions about your location and type of internet. The information is anonymous and tracked by area. Then, you do a quick speed test to check the speed of your connection. The hope is to use this info to focus attention on bringing better quality and speed to areas with lousy internet speeds and connections. We asked a customer at Staunton tea and coffee to do the test himself and give us his thoughts on the campaign.

"I think if they can gather the data to make the improvements to boost internet speed around our community, I'm all for it, I think it would be a great idea. Nobody like watching slow movies and having interruptions," says Sam Dunham, who was surprised by his connection speed.

You can find/try the speed test to get info on your connection speed at

Taken from
May 07, 2014
By Charles House

Broadband access pushed in Isle of Wight, Surry counties

Jim Henderson and his wife, Connie, have griped for years about their slow Internet connection.

The Hendersons and their neighbors, a dozen or so houses on a mile-long private lane in Carrollton, are bound to a dial-up connection because no Internet company will run a broadband line out to their homes.

Henderson, who telecommutes for his job as a business development consultant, had to buy a wireless USB antenna from Verizon in order to get Internet service capable of handling anything more than email.

Then, at a Carrollton Civic League meeting last fall, Connie Henderson mentioned that people were spending hours outside the county's libraries late into the night, using the wireless signal from the building.

"That's when we kind of realized maybe we're not the only ones who have this problem," Henderson said. The Civic League put together a task force to explore the issue and they consulted with the state technology secretary's office. Henderson suddenly found himself spearheading a movement backed by state agencies and the county to expand broadband access throughout Isle of Wight.

Sandie Terry runs a program at the Center for Innovative Technology, the state's non-profit arm for technology-based economic development, tasked with expanding broadband access in rural areas.

Terry said Internet access problems are common in rural areas throughout Virginia and often lead to what she calls the "digital divide" between Internet haves and have-nots

"So many people look at high-speed Internet and say, 'Oh we can stream Netflix or get on Facebook or play games,'" she said. "The digital divide is real and those people who are not connected will get left behind."

Terry argues that those without reliable, high-speed internet access are at a disadvantage as more and more services like education, employment and health care move online. Areas that don't have high-speed Internet access are also home to populations that need it most: people with less education, those with lower incomes and the elderly.

"Basically, all rural areas suffer under monopolies by having one provider of cable or DSL and in rural areas, it's how much infrastructure they have to implement versus how many people are going to subscribe," Terry said.

This decision, one of dollars and cents for the providers who often have little or no competition, leaves many without the access they need.

Isle of Wight County spokesman Don Robertson said the lack of connectivity is a long-standing problem. The county has been trying to entice Charter Communications, the county's only broadband provider, to expand coverage.

Charter has told county officials the math involved in expanding the infrastructure doesn't make sense for the company, Robertson said.

"In locations where service has never been active, Charter technicians will analyze area data, review capacity and make a site visit to evaluate feasibility in bringing Charter service to that location," Patti Michel, Charter's regional director of communications, in an email response to questions.

"Currently, there are no plans to extend our services in the Isle of Wight."

Janae Sanford, who lives in the Eagle Harbor neighborhood in Carrollton, said she cancelled her Internet service from Charter and turned instead to local libraries, where free, high-speed internet is available.

"I wasn't satisfied with the service," she said. "The connection speeds were slow and my bill increased without much explanation."

Blackwater Regional Library's Carrollton Branch manager Shannon Conroy said seats at the library's computers are a hot commodity, especially on Saturdays, when the branch is open for just three hours.

Conroy said librarians are sensitive to the Internet needs of many in the community, especially students who may not have access at home.

"We're only open until 5 p.m., which is barely enough time to get students in and get their homework done," she said. "Even when we're closed, we have people sitting outside in their cars, which is exactly why we leave the wireless on at night."

The throngs of people using library Internet resources has convinced Henderson that the demand exists to warrant broadband expansion in Isle of Wight. Henderson hopes to gather enough data by the end of March through a program at Virginia Tech to prove to companies that there is money to be made.

Accelerate Virginia, part of another broadband expansion group called eCorridors based out of Virginia Tech, hosts an online survey that tests the speed of the user's Internet. The survey plots users' connection speeds on a map to determine where the fast and slow connections are and asks folks whether they would be willing to subscribe to improved service if it was available.

Anyone without Internet access can call a number connected to the Accelerate Virginia office and register "dead zones," areas where there is no access whatsoever.

Henderson plans to develop a marketing plan with that data and present it to Internet service providers to show them that there is demand in underserved areas. A few hundred respondents would give Henderson enough data to make a convincing case, he said.

Nearby Surry County undertook a similar survey with the help of a state grant in 2008, said Rhonda Russell, the county's director of planning and community development.

After mailing out more than 2,800 surveys, 20.5 percent of residents and 14 percent of businesses that got the surveys wrote back, Russell said. Respondents overwhelmingly said existing Internet speeds were inadequate and they would likely subscribe to affordable high-speed Internet if it was made available.

The county is now looking for a suitable site for a 350-foot tower to broadcast high-speed wireless Internet throughout Surry County.

He and Terry think a similar approach could help alleviate Isle of Wight's connectivity problems, possibly using existing cell, radio and water towers to reduce infrastructure costs.

Isle of Wight's Board of Supervisors gave the data-gathering initiative its blessing in December, with the caveat that any help from county staff shouldn't incur major expenses — so a mass mailing is out of the question for Henderson's effort.

He hopes tapping groups like local Ruritan Clubs will be enough to get a critical mass of responses from the speed test, demonstrate demand and entice a provider to give Isle of Wight's disconnected residents a boost.

Murphy can be reached by phone at 757-247-4760.

Broadband Survey
Anyone interested in taking the survey can access the speed test at 

Those without an internet connection can register their dead zone by phone by contacting Jean Plymale with Accelerate Virginia at 540-231-2270.

Taken from Daily Press
9:20 p.m. EST, February 18, 2014
By Ryan Murphy

Brunswick County Internet Speed Testing Campaign Extended

LAWRENCEVILLE - The Brunswick County Economic Development Coordinating Council (EDCC) has joined with other Virginia counties to map broadband availability by starting their own local Internet speed testing campaign. Residences of Brunswick County and the Towns of Alberta, Brodnax and Lawrenceville, with Internet access, are asked to take the Accelerate Virginia speed test. The test will help identify areas where Internet services are available and those areas that are in need of access to high-speed Internet services.

The Accelerate Virginia Internet speed test is a short and simple online survey and speed test that measures the overall quality and performance of your Internet connection. Upon completion of the speed test, users will receive real time performance details regarding their Internet connection, as well as a comparison summary based on other speed test results in your community.

To participate in the Brunswick County EDCC's Internet speed testing campaign, all residents with Internet access are asked to visit and take the two-minute speed test from their home computers. Accelerate Virginia also encourages business owners to take the speed test from their business locations. Everyone is asked to spread the word and encourage friends and neighbors to participate.

The Accelerate Virginia campaign's goal is to collect 300-500 speed tests per county. The testing has been extended until May 1, 2013. The data will provide county officials with a more accurate understanding of broadband availability, as well as identify areas of potential need for improved services. The more participation we have the better the assessment will be for the Brunswick County EDCC.

By participating in the Brunswick County EDCC's Internet speed testing campaign, you will also be contributing information that will support Virginia's effort to accurately map current broadband availability across the state and to help drive future policy decisions and strategically direct future funding to areas of need.

If you need further information or cannot receive high speed Internet services at your address, please register your broadband dead zone by calling Jean Plymale at (540) 231-2270 or email

Taken from Brunswick Times Gazette News
Tuesday, April 16, 2013 2:47 pm

Internet users, college students asked to help with connection speed test

Researchers at Virginia Tech are asking Internet users, especially college students, to assist with "Accelerate Virginia," a campaign to test Internet connection speeds and create a map of broadband Internet availability.

"Students, specifically, can help and make a difference by passing on the word to their friends and family, in person or through social networks," said Accelerate Virginia spokeswoman Angela Correa.

In order to make the map as complete and accurate as possible, the organizers hope a majority of Internet users will participate. While the test is primarily aimed at residential users, commercial customers are also encouraged to take the speed test from their business locations. The campaign's goal is to collect 300 to 500 speed tests per county.

After the test, participants will receive a detailed summary of their connection characteristics and a summary of what other residents in the area are reporting about their service, including provider names, connection types, speed averages and satisfaction ratings.

The test will give users feedback about how local Internet providers compare to others and help them identify alternatives to their current service.

To run the test, go to and follow the instructions.

Users of Apple iPhone or Android mobile platforms are encouraged to test the speed of their mobile connections by installing the free FCC Broadband Test App, available at

If you don't have high-speed Internet services at all, or who have questions about "Accelerate Virginia," contact Jean Plymale at 540-231-2270, 540- 231-8490, or

Visit the Daily Press Education Facebook page at Contact Pawlowski at 757-247-7478 or

Copyright © 2013, Newport News, Va., Daily Press

Taken from Daily Press
4:44 p.m. EDT, April 8, 2013
By Sarah J. Pawlowski