On June 13, 2007, Governor Kaine tasked Senator Mark Warner and Technology Secretary Aneesh Chopra to lead a broad group of stakeholders, a "broadband Roundtable," to advance his goal of providing univeral access to broadband services for all Virginia businesses by 2010.
Now more than ever before, high speed telecommunications services are essential to fostering economic growth, civic participation, health care access, education, job training, public safety and other services. Despite a $300+ million investment in Virginia's infrastructure for broadband services since 1998, too many Virginians still lack access to affordable broadband services.
There are a variety of factors including challenging topography, low population desities, and restrictive laws, ordinances and regulations that can combine to create an unfavorable deployment environment where the private sector companies struggle to build a business case for additional investment to close these coverage gaps. To address these issues, Governor Kaine challenged the Broadband Roundtable to:
In answer to this challenge, roundtable members analyzed and documented "key success factors" of existing community led broadband deployments, and (on September 9, 2008) unveiled an online community "toolkit" designed to help local and regional leaders plan and launch a community led broadband initiative.
While the toolkit is the centerpiece of the roundtable's work, the group also announced a broadband mapping initiative and policy slate that will frame ongoing broadband activities.