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Virginia Tech
eCorridors program to begin consumer broadband mapping campaign in NRV" in the Spotlight
Taken from New River Valley News & Views External Site
Written By Jan Gilbertson
June 09, 2010

The National Broadband Plan states that no matter where you live or how much money you make every American, every school, every library, every business, every health care and public safety facility needs to have access to affordable broadband services. Broadband has become the foundation of the American economy and the platform required for innovation and opportunity. It is the tool every child needs if they are to learn and compete in the global economy. Access to affordable broadband infrastructure is required to ensure that businesses, large and small, are created here, move here and stay in the New River Valley (NRV).

Not everyone in the NRV has access to high speed Internet, and not everyone who has access to broadband subscribes. In an effort to understand and improve this situation, Virginia Tech's eCorridors program (http://www.ecorridors.vt.edu) will introduce a new broadband mapping portal this summer, as well as a new consumer education and participation campaign in the region.

In the past, providers have been the primary source of information regarding where internet services, broadband or otherwise, are available. For the first time, Virginia residents, businesses, educational institutions, healthcare facilities, public safety groups and others are being asked to provide information about Internet service availability in their communities. To compete globally, create opportunities, and maximize investment in broadband infrastructure, Virginia needs a more precise understanding of where and what kind of internet services are available.

As a partner in the Virginia broadband mapping initiative, eCorridors is requesting assistance in the collection of at least 300 or more new speed test (http://www.ecorridors.vt.edu/maps/broadbandmap.php) data points per county to achieve a statistically significant sample size. This is necessary to adequately model current broadband availability in the state.

Combined with other data sources, the eCorridors speed test data will be used for updating Virginia's state broadband map of served, under-served, and unserved areas, as well as to validate providers claimed coverage. This data will be used to identify areas in need of affordable broadband infrastructure investment.

Be a part of history. Urge your community to participate in a local speed testing campaign. For more information and to organize a local speed test campaign in your area, contact Jean Plymale at (540) 231-2270 or vplymale@vt.edu.

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