Wright County residents have begun receiving a mass mailing looking for public input of a Broadband Survey. The county has contracted with Design Nine of Blacksburg, Virginia to conduct a study to analyze the existing broadband assets in the county, use patterns and gaps in existing coverage. Following the broadband study, recommendations will be made to the county how to best address the areas of need and how to improve service.
A key component to Design Nine’s data collection is a public survey regarding the current broadband connections of both residents and businesses. These surveys will provide detailed broadband usage and coverage data critical to creating as robust a study as possible.
The survey can be completed by mail or online and takes approximately five minutes. The deadline to return a paper survey is Tuesday, Aug. 24. The study will serve as a guide for the implementation of an improved broadband network. The Wright County Board of Commissioners has pledged American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds for this project and a comprehensive response to the survey will be critical to seeking out state and federal funding – many of the programs require such studies to be conducted to access funding. The study will also serve as a detailed guide for engineering and communications construction firms that might be selected to design and construct a modernized network.
The study will provide a set of strategies to address the deficiencies in rural high-speed internet. Rural broadband has been a topic of discussion for years and has been identified as a statewide problem, but not much action has been taken due to the lack of tangible, quantifiable information and data dealing with the costs of development, testing and maintaining a high-speed broadband infrastructure. Even prior to COVID-19, the lack of adequate broadband access was a significant concern in agriculture, education, tourism and manufacturing, as well as emerging industries. The data gathered through this survey will provide the knowledge needed for county officials and stakeholders to make the best-informed decisions about the next steps needed to expand broadband access in Wright County.
To take the residential survey online, click here: Wright County Residential Broadband Survey | Design Nine Inc. - Surveys. To take the business survey, click here: Wright County Business Broadband Survey | Design Nine Inc. - Surveys