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The Accelerate Virginia Project
Mapping Virginia's Broadband
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q: What is Accelerate Virginia?

  1. Accelerate Virginia is a campaign that is administered by the eCorridors program at Virginia Tech. Accelerate Virginia is an enhanced customer driven approach to regional broadband mapping and assessment, aimed specifically at Virginia. Accelerate Virginia promotes a greater citizen education and participation in broadband development through an informational web portal and speed testing application. Both are intended to promote and foster the development of broadband access, awareness and adoption throughout Virginia.

    Data collected through the Accelerate Virginia speed testing application, along with other data collected by the eCorridors Community Broadband Mapping tool, will be used to augment provider data collected at the state level for the creation of the main Virginia Broadband Map. By promoting broadband access, awareness, and adoption, Accelerate Virginia hopes to help build increased demand for broadband services.

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Q: What is broadband and why is it getting so much attention?

  1. The Federal Communications Commission defines broadband as having a minimum download speed of 768 kbps. In other words, regardless of the technology you are using (i.e. cable, DSL, fixed wireless, mobile wireless, etc.), if you can access your information at a minimum speed of 768 kbps, then you have broadband.

    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 institution and every 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 a 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 choose to stay in Virginia.

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Q: How does the Speed Test work?

  1. The Accelerate Virginia speed test measures the bandwidth along the entire path of the consumer's Internet network connection, that is, the connection speed between the user performing the speed test and the speed test server located at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia.

    The Accelerate Virginia Speed Test measures a realistic user experience of connection speed at a single moment in time, not the theoretical potential of an actual connection type. An important point to note is that a single speed test is not a fair overall assessment; speed test results vary with time of day, network congestion, and where the client is located with respect to where the speed test server is located. An average of multiple speed tests performed at the same location at different times of the day should provide a fair assessment of your connection speed. The location information provided on the map by the user is only as accurate as the user allows.

    Data collected from the speed test, along with other data collected by the eCorridors Community Broadband mapping tool, will be used in conjunction with data collected at the state level to update the main Virginia broadband map.

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Q: Are all the markers displayed on the map?

  1. No, the map only shows the 500 most recently added data points.

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Q: Why should I participate?

  1. Get an idea of your Internet performance.
  2. Help community.
  3. 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. You can help pinpoint this information by running a speed test and encouraging your community to run a speed test.

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Q: How will my speed test data be used?

  1. Combined with other data sources, the eCorridors speed test data you provide 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.

    End-user information collected from Accelerate Virginia will be used to supplement service provider data collected by the state for integration into the Virginia and National broadband maps.

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Q: How can the Accelerate Virginia campaign help me and/or my community?

  1. Accelerate Virginia's broadband speed mapping program can assist Virginia citizens and communities in a variety of possible ways, including:
    1. Helping high-speed connectivity areas and communities attract technology workers and employers.
    2. Helping areas and communities that lack high-speed connectivity justify the need for competitive service provisions and/or the development of local infrastructure.
    3. Allowing service providers access to the map as a tool for locating new market areas.
    4. Providing citizens with access to the map to use as a relocation tool.
    5. Helping to identify regional service providers and reported bandwidth capacities.
    6. Informing residents of local broadband conditions and soliciting support for broadband development.

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Q: How can I and/or my community participate?

  1. There are several ways you or your community can participate in the Accelerate Virginia speed mapping campaign.
    1. Run a speed test from your home, school, and/or office Internet connection.
    2. Let your friends and family in Virginia know that you ran the Accelerate Virginia speed test, why it's important, and how they can run one themselves.
    3. Connect with your local planning commission or town council and explore ways you can start a local speed mapping campaign in your community.
    4. Let us hear from you about how your campaign is going. Let us know how we can assist you and your community. We offer training and other resources to help you and your community run a successful campaign. Visit the Accelerate Your Community page for more information.

Q: How can I test whether my Java plug-in is working properly?

  1. You can test your Java plug-in by going to http://java.com/en/download/help/index_installing.xml

Q: I am getting a security warning that looks like this. Is it ok to proceed?

Security Warning

  1. Yes - this warning comes from Accelerate Virginia. Click 'Run' to allow your speed test to begin - no programs or cookies will be installed on your computer.

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Understanding Broadband

Accelerate Virginia Speed Test

TachHelp Accelerate Virginia map current Internet availability throughout the Commonwealth. Run the speed test and get an instant review of your broadband speed connection, as well as a survey of what others in your community are reporting.

Accelerate Your Community

BlacksburgTake an active role in the Accelerate Virginia project. Access resources and learn how you can organize a local speed test campaign in your area.

Connect With Us

Tell us how high-speed Internet has made an impact in your life, or in your community. If you do not have access to broadband in your area, let us know your concerns.

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