FORT EDWARD, N.Y. (NEWS10) – In a new step in the effort to connect its residents, Washington County is launching a new campaign to better map broadband coverage; where it is, and where it needs to be.
The thing is, they need to hear it directly from the people living in the county.
The new “WASHCoNNECT” initiative is asking county residents to fill out a survey on the status of their internet connection where they live. Businesses are also invited to fill it out.
In addition to being found online, physical copies of the survey can be found in some stores, schools, libraries and town halls around the county.
The survey is one half of a bigger plan. Results will be combined with information from an on-the-ground inventory of county broadband facilities, including existing towers and cables.
Washington County has been working with ECC Technologies, out of Penfield, on that part of the project, which is nearing completion.
The push to improve internet connections in the county came after the COVID-19 pandemic made the need for improvements obvious in rural areas like Dresden, Putnam and Jackson; remote areas without real community centers.
Issues even emerged in medium-sized communities, like Argyle and Whitehall. Some residents in the Greenwich area suddenly lost what service they had, when a company specializing in high-speed satellite internet in rural areas suddenly closed up shop last December.
The information will help Washington County to identify internet dead zones, and apply for funding to improve infrastructure.
The survey effort is expected to take around 10 weeks to complete.
The Washington County Planning Office can be reached for more information at (518) 746-2290, or by email at email@example.com.