FCC map illustrates connections between broadband and health

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has released a map illustrating the connection between broadband access, technology, and health in the state of Virginia. The map is the result of the Connect2HealthFCC Task Force, and the goal is “to provide a high-level overview of the current state of affairs at the intersection of broadband, connectivity, and health.”

The FCC task force collected data on broadband access, connectivity, and health to identify current trends. The interactive map is already showing some interesting findings, including relationships between illness and information. For example, the map shows that counties with higher levels of Internet health research have lower obesity rates. Other interesting preliminary insights from the FCC:

  • While most Virginians have access to higher broadband download speeds, approximately 20 of Virginia’s 95 counties (21%) have common download speeds of <9Mbps. Lower download speed areas are not confined to areas of lowest population (rural).

  • The majority of Virginians live in counties where the most common download speeds are >25 Mbps.

  • About 600,000 Virginians live in counties with provider availability below the national average of 2170:1.

  • Virginia’s largest county, Pittsylvania County, has a primary care provider ratio of 21000:1 and connectivity speeds of <25 Mbps.


The FCC is seeking comments on ways to improve research methodology for future maps. They can be submitted to [email protected]


Connectivity and Health: Virginia (Phase 1) (FCC, Aug. 2015)

FCC Maps Connection of broadband and health in Virginia (GCN.com, Aug. 20, 2015)