Jefferson County residents and business owners are encouraged to help improve Internet service in the county by participating in a broadband survey.
The Jefferson County Commission received a $75,000 grant to conduct a broadband feasibility and planning study. As part of the study, a broadband survey is now underway. The goal of the survey is to asses current broadband service, identify areas of need, and develop strategies to bring high-performance broadband and Internet to more residences and businesses in Jefferson County, said Jefferson County Commissioner Patsy Noland.
“The results of the broadband survey will help determine where the need is greatest and help us to create plans to bring better and more affordable access and services to both residents and business owners,” Noland said.
By participating in the survey, residents and business owners will be providing valuable information that will aid in determining how to connect homes, schools, government agencies, healthcare facilities, offices, retail stores, restaurants, and other businesses and industries. Being able to connect to a high-speed network has been more important than ever since the COVID-19 pandemic, Noland added.
The survey, which can be completed in about five minutes, is available online, and is also being mailed to Jefferson County households and businesses at the end of August. The deadline for completing the survey is September 15.
“It is extremely important that we hear from county citizens and business leaders on this matter,” she said. “Accessible broadband service is essential to the future of Jefferson County.”
JC Residential Survey:
JC Business Survey:
Design Nine, Inc., the consulting company hired to conduct the broadband study, has extensive, hands-on experience designing and managing telecommunications and broadband systems. The Jefferson County project will include a technical analysis, market analysis, assessment of current use, broadband development strategies, and preliminary design and cost estimates. The company’s main office is in Blacksburg, Va., and has satellite offices in Keene, N.H., and Knoxville, Tenn.
The Eastern Panhandle Regional Planning and Development Council Region 9 submitted the grant on behalf of the Jefferson County Commission and is coordinating the administration of the grant. The Jefferson County Broadband Committee, which was created as a result of the grant, includes two county commissioners, municipal representatives from Bolivar and Charles Town, two citizen representatives, and county staff from administration, development authority, IT, GIS, and 911.
For more information or questions about the study, email email@example.com or call 304-728-3284.