Warren County Seeks Input from Residents and Businesses on Broadband Coverage and Reliability
How good (or bad) is your Internet service in Warren County?
Broadband access is increasingly a part of everyday life. Agriculture is increasingly relying on technology, and seeing a doctor “virtually” is becoming more common. People of all ages access the Internet to play games, shop or watch movies. All of these activities require strong, reliable broadband access. Businesses making decisions on investments seek well connected communities.
The Warren County Board of Supervisors and Warren County Economic Development Corp. are seeking the help of county residents and businesses to assess the breadth and reliability of broadband coverage. The county and EDC will survey county residents as to how well they can work, study and surf the Internet from their homes, offices, schools and businesses. The goal is to identify gaps and weaknesses so that county officials can apply for relevant grants and successfully advocate for improved broadband coverage with internet service providers and state and federal representatives.
Rachel Seeber, chairwoman of the Warren County Board of Supervisors, said: said: “Warren County residents continue to express to their representatives their desire and need for access to affordable, reliable broadband service. Unfortunately, many people, both at their homes and at their businesses, have poor access or no access, and those who have service often report problems with reliability and speed. This survey will help us determine access levels and speeds throughout Warren County and help us map where improvements are needed. We will then work with our county’s state and federal representatives to bring to Warren County the service we desperately need, which is now more important than ever.”
Jim Siplon, interim president of EDC said: “Access to reliable broadband service is essential to current and prospective residents and businesses. The coronavirus pandemic has heightened the need to work and learn from home, attend meetings remotely, receive medical care, and simply stay in touch with family. For many people, Warren County is an ideal place to relocate
because of its spectacular natural environment, outdoor recreational opportunities and manageable cost of living. But business people and professionals considering relocating here need reliable broadband service before they would consider a move.”
Warren County and the EDC have been working with ECC Technologies of Penfield, N.Y., which has undertaken similar surveys for numerous other upstate New York counties, on this assessment since September 2020.
ECC staff will conduct this work in two phases: The first is an on-the-ground inventory to map broadband facilities in every community of the county, including existing fiber and coaxial cabling and tower sites, which is nearing completion.
The second is a survey of county residents and businesses to determine who has access to broadband and what people are paying or are willing to pay, which is starting this week.
The survey will be available online for those who have access and in printed form at stores, schools, libraries and town halls throughout Warren County. Warren County and EDC Warren County are hoping to reach as many residents as possible before March 31, 2021. The survey has 15 questions and will take less than 10 minutes to complete. Respondents will be asked to enter an address for their home or business. The address is important because it will help identify where the greatest needs are in the county. Individual responses will not be released to any third party.
The survey can be accessed at www.warrencountybroadband.org.
Who is doing this broadband assessment?
EDC Warren County is working jointly with Warren County, and the technical assistance from Penfield, NY-based ECC Technologies, Inc.
How is the assessment being done?
A brief 10 minute online survey for both residents and businesses is now available at warrencountybroadband.org until March 31, 2021. Questions on availability, quality of service, cost are included. The test can be taken at home/business or via mobil device. A speed test tool is available for non-mobile respondents.
Why this assessment taking place?
The County wants to ensure its residents have the same opportunities to access broadband services as others in the state. This assessment allows the County to obtain input directly from our residents to see where the greatest needs are and advance the availability of broadband.
Will my privacy be protected?
EDC, Warren County and ECC will not release information from this assessment to any third party. Aggregated results of the study will be made available at the conclusion of this project.
Why is the address of responders needed for the survey?
We ask for your address to help us align the responses and identify via mapping technology the areas where the greatest needs are in the County.
Why is broadband vital to business?
The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified the need for strong connectivity as more professionals and entrepreneurs either start businesses or choose to work and live remotely. This is especially important in the Adirondack communities within Warren County that need to attract business activity and jobs.