SEDA-Council of Governments has contracted with Design Nine, Inc. of Blacksburg, VA to provide a broadband study for Clinton, Lycoming, Northumberland and Union Counties and is asking the public for their input.
As a result of receiving funding assistance from the U.S. Appalachian Regional Commission and the four participating counties, Design Nine will analyze existing broadband assets in the counties including those offered by telecom service providers, cable companies and government organizations that provide communications services through schools and first responders. The company will analyze the types of broadband services available, broadband use patterns and gaps in coverage, and make recommendations to the counties as to how to improve coverage.
A key part of the Design Nine data collection process is a public survey from both businesses and residents regarding their current broadband connections. Residential and business surveys will be made available to the public at select locations throughout the four counties, as well as online via social media and the web. These surveys will provide detailed broadband usage and coverage data needed to complete the study.
Scheduled to be completed by the end of August, this study will serve to guide the implementation of a modern broadband network. It will also provide the standards necessary for SEDA-Council of Governments to develop and release a model Request for Proposal (RFP) from engineering and communications construction firms that may be interested in designing and constructing such a network.
Each of the four counties will receive a set of strategies to address rural high-speed Internet deficiencies.
“Rural broadband, although often discussed as a major issue within the region, has not been acted upon because of the lack of information about the tasks, activities, and costs of developing, testing, and maintaining highspeed broadband infrastructure,” said Scott Kramer, SEDA-COG Information Technologies Group. “Lack of adequate broadband access is a predominant concern for agriculture, education, tourism, and manufacturing as well as emerging industries such as life sciences, technology, and health services. This data gathered will provide the needed information to help local leaders and stakeholders make prudent decisions about next steps to expand broadband access.”
Paper surveys may be found at the following locations or online at:
Residential Survey & Business Survey.