The Center for Innovative Technology has announced an upgrade to its Virginia Broadband Availability Map, which allows users to search by address or zip code where broadband services are available and to overlay the broadband data with other data such as population and vertical assets.
I have given the map a quick spin and have drawn one quick, superficial conclusion. Either there are some unforgivable gaps in broadband coverage — the cities of Norfolk and Roanoke look like fiber-free zones — or there are unforgivable gaps in the map’s database.
The two maps in this post display “fiber optic wireline coverage,” as a proxy for high-capacity broadband. (The database also maps copper lines, cable, and four categories of wireless.) As I expected, the urban core of the Richmond and Northern Virginia metropolitan areas are blanketed in fiber-optic cable. But Norfolk and Roanoke appear as fiber deserts. Is it possible that two of the largest, densest cities in Virginia are captive to local cable monopolies for their high-broadband Internet?
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