2021 Special Session I

Budget Amendments - HB1800 (Conference Report)

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Statewide Broadband Maps

Item 114 #2c

Item 114 #2c

First Year - FY2021 Second Year - FY2022
Commerce and Trade
Department of Housing and Community Development FY2021 $0 FY2022 $424,000 GF

Page 110, line 42, strike "$128,538,362" and insert "$128,962,362".

Page 114, after line 46, insert:

"O.1. Out of the amounts in this item, $424,000 in the second year from the general fund is provided to support the creation of a statewide broadband map. The Department shall, in coordination with the Office of the Chief Broadband Advisor, develop a statewide broadband availability map indicating broadband coverage, including maximum broadband speeds available in service territories in the Commonwealth. The Department and Chief Advisor shall provide the initial map by July 1, 2022, or as soon as practicable, and shall update the map at least annually.

2. Broadband service providers shall be required to submit updated service territory data to the Department annually. The Department shall establish a process, timeline, and specific data requirements for broadband providers to submit their data. All public bodies shall cooperate with the Department, or any agent thereof, to furnish data requested by the Department for the initial improvement and maintenance of the map.

3. In no instance may the Department require broadband providers to submit any data, in either substantive content or form, beyond that which the provider is required to submit to the Federal Communications Commission pursuant to the federal Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability Act, 47 U.S.C. § 641 et. seq., provided, however, that satellite-based  broadband providers that have been designated as an eligible telecommunications carrier pursuant to 47 130 U.S.C. § 214(e)(6) for any portion of the Commonwealth shall be required to submit comparable data as other broadband providers. Public bodies and broadband providers shall not be required to submit any customer information, such as names, addresses, or account numbers.

4. The Department may publish only anonymized versions of the map, showing locations served and unserved by broadband without reference to any specific provider. The map shall not include information regarding ownership or control over the network or networks providing service. The Department shall establish a process for broadband providers to petition the Department to correct inaccuracies in the map. Any determination made by the Department pursuant to any specific petition with respect to any specific map to correct inaccuracies shall be final and not subject to further review.

5. Maps published by the Department pursuant to this section may be considered, but shall not be considered conclusive, for purposes of determining eligibility for funding for Commonwealth broadband expansion grant or loan programs, including the Virginia Telecommunication Initiative, or challenges thereto.

6. The Department: May contract with private parties to make the necessary improvements to the existing map and to maintain the map. Such private parties may include any entities and individuals selected by the Department to assist the Department in improving and maintaining such a map; Shall consult existing broadband maps, particularly those published by the Federal  Communications Commission; and May acquire existing, privately held data or mapping information that may contribute to the accuracy of the map.  

7. Information submitted by a broadband provider in connection with this section shall be excluded from the requirements of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.). Information submitted by a broadband provider pursuant to this section shall be used solely for the purposes stated under this section and shall not be released by the Department, or any other public records custodian, without the express written permission of the submitting broadband provider.

8. The Department shall annually evaluate federal mapping data and shall waive the requirement for broadband providers to submit territory data if a map of near identical or greater quality is made publicly available by the Federal Communications Commission as part of the federal Digital Opportunity Data Collection program or its successor. This waiver shall not be unreasonably withheld.

9. For the purposes of the initiative outlined in paragraph O. of this item, "Broadband" means Internet access at speeds equal to or greater than the broadband Internet speed benchmark set by the Federal Communications Commission.  "Broadband provider" means a provider of fixed or mobile broadband Internet access service and includes any entity required to provide the federal government with information on Federal Communications Commission Form 477 or as part of the federal Digital Opportunity Data Collection program or a provider of satellite-based broadband Internet access service that has been designated as an eligible telecommunications carrier pursuant to 47 U.S.C. § 214(e)(6) for any portion of the Commonwealth. "Chief Advisor" means the Commonwealth Broadband Chief Advisor as established in § 2.2-205.2. 114, Code of Virginia. "Map" means the statewide broadband availability map developed and maintained pursuant to paragraph O. of this item."


(This amendment provides $424,000 from the general fund in the second year to the Department of Housing and Community Development to develop a statewide broadband map and establishes parameters for the development of that map.)