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Broadband 101

The Commonwealth of Virginia and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) define broadband as access to internet speeds at 100 megabits per second (Mbps) download and 20 Mbps upload.

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What is the difference between "unserved" vs. "underserved"?

While Virginia and the FCC have differing definitions for "unserved", Virginia doesn't define "underserved" for broadband/internet. Unfortunately, they are incorrectly used interchangeably.

What is the difference between last-mile and middle-mile broadband?

Last-Mile is the last connection between an ISPs network and the customer, while Middle-Mile broadband does not connect directly to a customer’s location.

How long does it take to build broadband?

There are several factors - including how long it takes to gain access and prepare utility poles (also called Make-Ready), access rights-of-way, and the availability of workforce. Each of these steps can take months or up to a year.

Why only one cable provider in my area?

Providing cable television is different from broadband. To provide cable television, a provider must enter into a franchise agreement with the locality - each agreement comes with several requirements and guarantees.

What broadband speed is adequate?

VCTA Members are always upgrading our networks and offer download and upload speeds over 1 gigabit to residential and business locations - if a business site requires higher speeds, our members work with the business as they build out the site.

Is cellphone data considered broadband?

The cellular data on your cellphone is NOT broadband. While wireless broadband uses many of the same towers - it's important not discuss cellphone coverage when discussing unserved broadband in Virginia.

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