A Powerful Website Helps Deliver Internet to the Commonwealth
The Commonwealth of Virginia has the largest collection of data centers in the world; in fact, approximately 70% of all internet traffic by volume flows through Northern Virginia! However, a digital divide still exists, as there are yet areas in the Commonwealth where Virginians do not have access to broadband internet.
Luckily, Commonwealth Connect exists as a partnership between The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT), The Governor's Chief Broadband Advisor, and the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). Together, they strive to provide access for all.
CIT creates technology-based economic development strategies to accelerate innovation, imagination and the next generation of technology and technology companies. Created in 1985, CIT is a non-profit corporation that plugs gaps at the earliest stages of the Innovation Continuum - commercialization and seed funding - as it helps entrepreneurs launch and grow high-growth technology companies and create high-paying jobs for the future.
CIT's Broadband Program exists to "accelerate the socio-economic growth of Virginia's rural and underserved areas through the application and use of broadband telecommunications." This bold mission statement emphasizes the idea that the true value of broadband telecommunications infrastructure is derived from the applications that traverse its capacity, not the mere existence of the infrastructure.
To support the vital work of advancing broadband technologies, the position of Commonwealth Broadband Chief Advisor was created in 2018. Currently chaired by Evan Feinman, the role serves as Virginia's single point of contact and integration for broadband issues, efforts, and initiatives.
For all of this important work, it was high time for a revamped and more powerful web presence.
An existing partnership between CIT and Virginia Interactive (VI) led to a project kickoff in 2018 to rebrand, update, and streamline www.wired.virginia.gov. A clean and modern design concept was formulated and contributed by the Virginia Department of Tourism, another VI partner.
The new site went live in July 2019 and delivers a philosophy of simplicity coupled to intuitive navigation. Outdated and unneeded content was pared down or removed, and the entire site is totally mobile friendly across all devices.
A key component of the new site design is the hosting of two surveys, one used by locality representatives and the other by individuals, to gather information about broadband access and quality throughout the Commonwealth. Existing survey data was carefully and seamlessly migrated from the previous website to ensure all stored data was retained.
Virginia Interactive is proud to support the work of all agencies and offices in the Commonwealth of Virginia, especially those that bring equity and opportunity to all citizens. Strong partnerships result in positive outcomes for all users. By bringing this robust new website to life, CIT is set to continue serving all Virginians like never before.