Albemarle County Broadband Survey (Also, Broadband Increases Real Estate Values)

Last week I asked a seller’s agent to get the download speeds from a property in a not-so-rural part of Albemarle County.

Here is what my tenant sent: The results were: Pings 36 Download 2.89Mbps Upload 0.47Mbps

My client will not consider this property, nor will they consider 75% of the properties that they find interesting – properties a bit outside of the City with a couple acres under $500k.

Albemarle County is conducting a broadband survey (click through for the press release).

A few thoughts before you take this survey:

1 – This is just such an opportunity where this should be a City of Charlottesville and County of Albemarle (and UVA) survey, not an isolationist one.

2 – How does this fit in with the Albemarle County School system seeking to build a dark fiber network? Note it’s an upgrade in the budget. (and who’s bidding on and building it?)

3 – High speed internet increases property values. I haven’t found the numbers defined (yet) but I’ve heard that high speed adds $7,000 to a property’s value. In more stark terms, often the value is a binary one – in that high speed access yields a yes or no.

4 – Not having high speed internet access in rural parts of Albemarle County negatively impacts education.

5 – Why is Korea so much more advanced than the US?

6 – If a state wants to be known as the crossroads of America and to attract local, national and international businesses (and what state doesn’t?) even its smallest communities need to offer broadband connectivity via fiber to the home (FTTH).

Related Stories

Comcast Kicking Off Internet Access Program in Virginia

Measuring Broadband’s Economic Impact – a pdf of a study from 2005

CenturyLink to Expand High Speed Internet Access to Schuyler, Scottsville.


Press release from Albemarle County:

In an effort to determine how high-speed broadband Internet access might be extended to underserved parts of the County, a Broadband Task Force was established in October 2013. Among the action items recognized by the Broadband Task Force is the need to identify and analyze demand. To that end, a survey has been created for citizens to weigh-in on their broadband desires. It is critical that all county residents and business owners, particularly those in rural areas, participate in the survey in order to establish important baseline data.

The survey is available on-line at For citizens with limited access to the Internet, a physical copy of this survey will be distributed at various locations around the County. More details about where to find the physical copy of the survey and how to get it back in the appropriate hands upon completion will be shared in the coming weeks. Additionally, citizens may check the speed of their current Internet connection by visiting

The Task Force will be collecting and analyzing survey responses through June 2014. A findings report with next steps will be published in July 2014.

The Broadband Task Force includes representatives from the County (general government and Schools), service providers, Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission, the University of Virginia, as well as several County residents. For more information about the Broadband Task Force, visit

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  1. Simon Campbell April 11, 2014 at 09:00

    This is the first article that I have read that has quantitatively addressed the impact of high speed internet on property values. I agree that putting a concrete value on this could be difficult and that usually the response is either yes or no. Part because there is little that the buyer can do to remedy the situation.

  2. Gary April 25, 2014 at 11:39

    Getting the current connection performance statistics from a home usually doesn’t reflect what the potential performance of broadband to that home could be. Those numbers reflect the speed of the connection the current resident has purchased. The property may have higher speed (and more expensive) service available. You would also have to know (or have done yourself) additional research into what is available for possible broadband connection service and speeds to that property.

    Overall, I agree that broadband in a place like Charlottesville is either too slow in areas not far from the city center or there may be only one good option available. However, keep in mind that the current performance statistics of a properties connection don’t necessarily reflect the maximum potential of broadband to that property. (By the way, I like the blog!)

  3. Pingback: Will Ting's Fiber Bring Higher Property Values to Cville?

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