Despite recent attempts by the state to bring broadband high-speed Internet service to every household, there are still pockets of Lewis County, N.Y., with no access or slow, unreliable service.
(TNS) — Despite attempts by the state to bring broadband high speed internet service to every household in the county, there are still pockets of the county with no access or slow, unreliable service.
As a result, the
A survey about internet availability and satisfaction is now live on the
Participants are also given the opportunity to test the speed of their internet with a "click." The service checks both upload and download speeds and, combined with the answers to the survey itself, will help determine if the speeds currently available are sufficient.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic caused schooling and work to be done from home, the inadequacies of broadband speeds through some providers became apparent when they were not fast enough to allow uninterrupted classroom or work sessions and highlighted the disadvantage placed on those without any broadband options.
The project, initiated by the Authority's Board of Directors according to the
According to the survey itself, "The second step in our survey is to understand how you utilize, or would like to utilize, broadband capabilities in your home or business."
Under normal circumstances, people without internet are encouraged to go to their local libraries to do the online survey, and survey outreach workers would go door-to-door near the end of the project period to try to reach every household in the county.
Health concerns have limited those possibilities, according to Laurie Marr, Director of
"I can help people fill out their surveys over the phone, put in their information for them, or I can send them a hard copy of the survey with envelopes so they can send it back. We're willing to go above and beyond just to make sure that the surveys are filled out," said Planning Director Casandra Buell.
The information from both project prongs will be compiled and mapped.
The Authority owns and operates a telecommunications network providing high-speed, fiber optic internet to municipalities, businesses, hospitals and schools throughout the tri-county area and will use the information gathered through this project to expand that network and apply for grants, Ms. Marr said.
The company contracted to perform the work,
Although the project is intended and approved for
"It's absolutely critical for every resident and business in
Mr. Piche also noted reliable high speed internet is essential to attract "those people seeking a more rural lifestyle who need to telecommute to their jobs" due to the pandemic.
The total cost of the project is $62,000 to be shared between the county and the development authority.
The survey will continue for the next two months, Ms. Marr said, and volunteers interested in helping reach others in the community can sign up during the survey.
Generally, survey participants are not required to identify themselves, however exact addresses are required for the mapping to be effective.
(c)2020 Watertown Daily Times (Watertown, N.Y.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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