Public Input Need for Broadband Study
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.
- Clinton County – Clinton County Administration Building, Renovo Borough Office, Loganton Borough Office, Renovo Library, Friendship Library, Ross Library, and the following post offices: Avis, Beech Creek, Castanea, Lamar, Lock Haven, Loganton, Mackeyville, McElhattan, Mill Hall, North Bend, Renovo, Westport, and Woolrich.
- Lycoming County – Lycoming County Planning Commission, James V. Brown Library, Hughesville Library, Muncy Library, Jersey Shore Library, Montoursville Library and the Pine Creek Community Center
- Northumberland County – Mt. Carmel Area Public Library, Shamokin & Coal Township Public Library, Degenstein Community Library, Milton Public Library, Montgomery House Library, Priestley-Forsyth Memorial Library, and the Northumberland County Administration Building
- Union County -Herr Memorial Library, Public Library for Union County, West End Library, Union County Courthouse, and the Union County Government Center
The Center for Rural Pennsylvania is currently sponsoring research, Broadband Availability and Access in Rural Pennsylvania, to analyze and assess broadband availability in Pennsylvania, and is asking Pennsylvania residents to participate in the research by taking the broadband speed test at http://broadbandtest.us.
The test results will help Pennsylvania State University researchers, led by Professor Sascha Meinrath, to measure actual internet speeds. The test will also provide participants with information about their broadband connection.
If you’d like to help the Center for Rural Pennsylvania and our research partners at Penn State University map broadband access in Pennsylvania, please visit http://broadbandtest.us/ and take the broadband speed test. Thanks for your help.
SEDA-COG Technology Assessment Available to Local Government
Municipalities and local governments in an 11-county region can get a technology assessment and action recommendation that includes a free computer from SEDA-Council of Governments.
This service assesses existing computer software, servers, network and connectivity, storage and backup, hardware, and more. SEDA-COG’s Information Technology Group then makes a recommendation based on the assessment. Recommended changes may be implemented by another vendor or SEDA-COG.
The technology assessment and recommendation will be provided for $450, which includes a free computer while supplies last.
For more information and to learn about other services, contact SEDA-COG’s Scott Kramer at 570-524-4491 or email@example.com. [Download Flyer]