CIT releases broadband wwardee impact report

economic-forecast-headerThe Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) announced that its CIT Broadband service line released the second annual Broadband Investment Economic Impact Assessment, a report that charts the impact of federally-funded broadband projects across the Commonwealth.

The primary purpose of the report is to document the progress of the eight federally funded broadband deployments in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Status updates for each of the deployments is provided and the report shows how the projects are positively impacting Virginia’s schools, libraries, health care providers and overall economic competitiveness. In total, Virginia Broadband providers have garnered approximately $155 million from the Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP) and Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP). The report shows that six out of the eight deployments have been completed, while the remaining two remain on schedule for completion this year. The results of these deployments have been seen throughout the Commonwealth with the creation of new jobs, the enhancement of the state’s economic competitiveness, the improvement of educational resources and ultimately the improvement of the quality of life. Full status updates on all of the projects can be found inside the report on the wired.virginia.gov website.

The report also details how Virginia ranks among the national leaders in broadband. Virginia ranks in the top 10 among states in five key broadband categories; second in average download speeds, second in average peak connection speeds, seventh in high broadband (>10Mbps), ninth in broadband connectivity (>4Mbps), and ninth in 4kReady connectivity.*

Karen Jackson, Virginia Secretary of Technology, said, “This report highlights our achievements in expanding and improving broadband across the Commonwealth. While there are still gaps to be filled, it shows that Virginia remains a leader in broadband.”

In 2014, the Governor’s Commission on Economic Development & Job Creation cited the “deployment of high-speed broadband and other infrastructure improvements” as top priorities for improving economic development in areas hardest hit by the economic downturn. The assessment revealed that broadband infrastructure now flows through these economically distressed counties and has begun creating jobs.  However, significant challenges remain ahead to provide last mile connectivity to the remote areas of the state.

Sandie Terry, Program Manager of CIT Broadband, said, “Virginia has leveraged these federal dollars to create many miles of “middle mile” fiber networks. These networks connect our schools, libraries, health care providers and businesses. However, most project areas are still struggling with how to find funding to connect these networks the “last mile” to the citizens. We continue to focus our efforts on assisting all unserved areas throughout the Commonwealth. Our goal is for every Virginia citizen to have broadband Internet access and the knowledge and ability to leverage that access to improve their lives. ”

The Impact Assessment was compiled in conjunction with Broad Axe Technology Partners. You may access the full report at here.

* According to FCC standards as of 12/31/14.

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