Path forward found for broadband mapping bill

February 2, 2021

On February 1, the House Communications, Technology, and Innovation Committee considered HB 2214 (O’Quinn), which would require the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) in coordination with the Commonwealth Broadband Chief Advisor to develop and maintain a map of statewide broadband availability, showing locations served and unserved by providers of fixed or mobile broadband Internet access service.

Mapping of unserved areas remains a large challenge to providing broadband service as existing data filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC Form 477) is overly broad and does accurately portray address by address data. Under the federal map, if a provider offers broadband service to at least one location in a census block, this area is considered served, even if no other locations have access to broadband. HB 2214 is meant to address this problem while also protecting the proprietary information of service providers. The Committee reported the bill, 21-1.

VACo Contacts: Jeremy R. Bennett and Joe Lerch, AICP

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