Communications Policy and Regulation Division

CONTACT INFORMATION: Open during regular business hours 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday
703-324-5902 TTY 711
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 433
Fairfax, VA 22035
Rick Ellrod

Communications Policy and Regulation Presentations

The Communication Policy and Regulation Division (CPRD) conducts outreach events that provide information on cable service in the county, services provided by CPRD and the Department of Cable and Consumer Services, and new developments in telecommunications. Your homeowner’s association, community center, or other group can arrange for a presentation that addresses your needs and interests. Email or call to schedule a presentation.

Video on Demand Presentations:

Digital Literacy

Smart Homes | Cable and Consumer Services (



Internet Discount Programs and Lowering Your Bill for Video Services

Access to video programming and affordable internet service have become critically important in our lives, yet most people feel like they’re paying too much for cable TV and Internet service.   Learn how you can lower your cable TV bill and hear about low-cost Internet options available to County residents through federal programs like the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).  Also learn about discount Internet options offered by the County’s cable TV providers (Comcast, Cox, and Verizon) and how you can get free TV channels using a digital antenna and watch free video programming over the Internet. 


Digital Literacy: Keeping up with your Smart Home

The Internet of Things has found a home – literally – in “Smart Home” technologies and services. From lights to thermostats to speakers, cameras, refrigerators and garage door openers, these Internet-connected devices are designed to provide homeowners with comfort, convenience, security, and energy savings. They connect with each other and with service providers, automating actions based on homeowner preferences and sharing consumer usage data.  The Fairfax County Department of Cable and Consumer Services will help you stay smarter than your home by exploring Smart Home devices and services, including their history and the policy concerns regarding data sharing and privacy that accompany this burgeoning industry.


Who’s Watching Whom? Your Smart TV and Your Privacy

Smart TVs and other smart devices have entered our homes, offering unprecedented access to video programming and information at the touch of our fingers or the sound of our voices.  Unless you're diligent about following the news or reading the fine print in service documents, you may not be aware that the companies behind your smart devices are collecting, using, and sometimes selling your personal information.  Join presenters from Fairfax County's Department of Cable and Consumer Services as they explain what personal information these devices collect, why and how they do it, and what you can do to limit or prevent unwanted intrusions into your privacy.


Buying a New TV and Trends in TV Viewing over the Internet

This presentation will explain the features of high-definition digital televisions, including the clarity of the pictures displayed and other advantages. Learn to determine what TV types and sizes may be best for you. Find out about “Smart TVs” with access to the Internet. Discover the latest features of TVs, including streaming of movies and other programming. The information will assist attendees in wading through the complicated maze of TV features and types of models. The discussion will cover the option of hooking up an antenna to watch free over-the-air programming.  The program includes an informative hand-out for those attending the class.


Digital Literacy: Skills to Survive in the Digital Age 

Are you drowning in technology and information overload?  Do you have trouble distinguishing truth from fiction, and need some basic skills and tools to help survive in the digital age? This presentation will delve into the information sources that bombard us; how to effectively use, manage and cope with new technology; and how to critically analyze and make sense of the huge amount of information out there.


Choosing Your Video Service Provider(s)

Understanding and navigating today’s quickly evolving market for video services can be challenging.  The old days of watching a few channels broadcast for free over the air on an analog TV have been overtaken by cable TV, satellite, and video over the Internet.  Some of the video services remain free, but many are subscription-based.  And there are literally hundreds of available options.  This presentation reviews the options and helps you choose the video service or services that are right for you, based on your viewing preferences, comfort level with technology, and budget.




Communications Policies Impacting Consumers in 2024 and Beyond

Communications policy changes at the federal and state levels occur all the time and can have significant impacts on consumers' daily lives and on their pocketbooks. 2024 in particular is shaping up to be a busy year for such changes.  This presentation addresses topics including the Federal Communications Commission's rulemaking proceedings on proposed all-inclusive pricing regulations for cable TV and other services; an Internet neutrality proceeding that may end up treating the Internet more like a common carrier; proposed consumer protection rules designed to eliminate so-called "junk fees"; and new digital discrimination rules aimed at preventing discrimination of access to broadband services based on income level, race, ethnicity, color, religion, or national origin.  Learn what all this means for you as a consumer.


Your Rights as a Cable TV Subscriber

Cable TV customers are sometimes unaware of the federal and local customer service standards that cable TV operators are required to live up to, including those related to untimely telephone responses, missed service appointments, outages, poor picture or sound quality, billing issues, and service availability in general. This presentation by the County's Communications Policy and Regulation Division will explain these standards and who oversees them, so you can know when and how to get assistance.


Who's Digging in My Yard and Installing Antennas in My Neighborhood

Do you ever wonder what companies are digging in your yard or mounting equipment on poles in your neighborhood?  Communications-related construction can cause safety and other issues in public streets and on private property.  Learn from the County's cable TV inspectors and communications policy experts about a variety of topics, including advance notice of construction, restoration of damaged lawns and plants, 5G wireless installations, and your rights as residents regarding the construction and installation of communications infrastructure in the County, in your neighborhood, and on your property.


Understanding Broadband, Cable, Wi-Fi, Internet, and 5G - Your Guide to Communications Technologies and Services in the 21st Century

Are you curious about today’s communications technologies and services, how they work, and their pros and cons?  Having a basic understanding of topics like 5G, broadband, Wi-Fi, and the Internet is important because these technologies are the means by which we communicate with others, receive our news and entertainment, and live our lives in the 21st century.  This presentation will explain the technologies and services in simple terms and give you the tools to make informed decisions about the communications technologies necessary to navigate modern life.


Everything You Need to Know About Broadband Mapping and Internet Discount Programs

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is providing billions of dollars over the next several years to improve the nation’s broadband internet infrastructure and provide discounts to lower the cost of internet access.  The Federal Communications Commission’s new broadband maps are designed to allow members of the public to search their addresses and verify information about Internet availability, technologies, and speeds.  Moreover, the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program provides billions of dollars to subsidize the cost of Internet access for eligible participants.  These unprecedented investments recognize the critical role that broadband plays in our lives.  This presentation will explain where the money is going, how to participate in the mapping and discount programs, and what it all means to the residents of Fairfax County.


The Internet & Network Neutrality: What It Means and Where We're Headed

Regulation of the Internet vacillates generally depending on which political party controls the Federal Communications Commission.  The ongoing debate over so-called "Net Neutrality" is taking another turn as the FCC's new majority is switching back yet again to treating the Internet as a telecommunications service instead of an information service.  Learn about the meaning of net neutrality, how the debate came to this point, the implications of FCC’s action on Internet users, and what happens next.

Fairfax Virtual Assistant