Minchew Asks Constituents to Participate in Broadband Benchmark

In our 10th District, we have a wide variation in broadband coverage, from high speed fiber optic in some areas to some areas still using dial-up service on their copper telephone lines. I am committed to help bring greater broadband coverage to all areas in our district to promote the quality of life of our families, teleworking, and overall access to information.

The FCC’s National Broadband Plan states that no matter where you live or how much money you make, every American should have access to affordable broadband. This is particularly important in our rural areas. Currently, there are portions of our 10th district where citizens and public safety workers are unable to obtain communications access. This is a vital issue, which is why I am pleased to announce the progress being made toward a solution.

Starting last month, Accelerate Virginia, a local internet speed testing campaign, began work. The object of the testing is to map broadband availability throughout our region. Residents and business owners with Internet access are asked to take the Accelerate Virginia speed test to help identify areas in need of better access to high speed internet services.

By participating in this internet speed testing campaign, residents will receive real-time information about the quality of their internet connection. They will also be contributing information that supports Virginia’s effort to accurately map current broadband availability across the state, help drive future policy decisions and strategically direct future funding to areas of need.

To participate in this internet speed testing campaign, residents and business owners should go to: http://acceleratevirginia.org/speedtest/ and take the two-minute speed test from their computers.  For those who cannot receive high speed Internet service, please register your broadband “dead zone” here: http://www.broadband.gov/qualitytest/deadzone/.

Information from speed tests and the dead zone registry comes together with coverage claims from broadband providers and can be accessed on the Virginia Broadband Map being run by our Commonwealth. You can access this map at: http://mapping.vita.virginia.gov/broadband/. This Virginia Broadband Map can help residents and business owners understand the type of broadband service that might be available at any location in the state as well as the level of upload/download speeds that are available at that location. Input from users helps to ensure that Virginia’s broadband map is accurate and that broadband availability continues to increase in the areas that need it most. If you have problems or questions, please call Jean Plymale at 1-540-231-2270 or email vplymale@vt.edu .

As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office if I may be of service to you.

Randy Minchew

Virginia House of Delegates, 10th District



  1. Thank you for following through on this Delegate Minchew! I remember the lack of broadband availability was brought up several times during the campaign debates. I appreciate that you are doing what you said you would do and not putting this issue on a back burner.

  2. Harrdware says:

    Thank you as well from all of us here in the “Dead Zone” of White Post.
    We look forward to the day when we can get access to afforable braodband.
    It’s an absolute necessity for those of us who try to telecommute, or run a small business from home.

  3. Thank you, Clarke Daily News for publicizing the Commonwealth’s study of available broadband in our county. The White Post “dead zone” in particular is known by many and citizen participation in this study will help us work with state, county, and private broadband providers in ensuring that better, faster, and more affordable internet service is provided to our citizens. During this past session, I worked on legislation to extend the telework tax credit (HB 551) and now would like to see better broadband services in Clarke County so that more citizens can take advantage of this program.