Catskill, NY – Greene County has initiated a broadband and cellular communications project to identify households and businesses without access to fiber or coaxial broadband service and to formulate a technical solution and its estimated cost to providing service.
The First Phase of the project requires extensive mapping and data collection of existing broadband networks throughout the county. Greene County is currently working with the local broadband providers operating within the county who have shared their individual network systems to support the project. Years of working with the local broadband providers through the Greene County Broadband Consortium has enabled the partnership necessary to assist the county in this effort.
Access to Broadband Internet Connectivity has never been more important to the daily lives of residents, and the operations of businesses across all 14 Catskill Mountain, Rural Valley, and Historic Hudson River Towns that make up Greene County. To that end, the Greene County Legislature is initiating a joint Broadband Availability & Adoption (BAAT) Campaign to identify needs and opportunities for Broadband Internet growth across the county. The Campaign encourages all residents and business owners to go to GreeneGovernment.com to take a short online survey. For those without access to the Internet, paper surveys will also be available.
“The Greene County Legislature previously partnered with local Internet providers who received over $18 million in state grant funding through the three-year NYS Broadband Program with a total investment of $25 million,” notes Greene County Chairman Patrick S. Linger. “This funding went entirely to providers to significantly expand access across the county. This effort is another push to eliminate coverage gaps across the county, and the support of the legislature will put Greene County in the best position to access Federal and State funding available as part of pandemic recovery legislation.”
“With more day-to-day functions moving online, whether it’s for business, education, or personal use, we must do all we can to ensure coverage across our rural communities,” says Warren Hart, Deputy County Administrator. “High-speed broadband has become as essential as water and electricity for a good quality of life. We’re using the BAAT Campaign to collect information on services residents currently have, currently need, and where service is lacking. We can then use this data to come up with a plan to move forward and improve our broadband county-wide.”
The broadband survey is tailored to ask questions, based on response, pertinent to homes and businesses both with and without access. Respondents will need to enter an address and indicate whether it is for a home or business and will proceed to a survey designed to collect information on demand for services unique to their location. Residents who also have an at-home business should take the business survey as well as the home survey.
“We know we have gaps, a lack of options and not enough competition in the market – and fixing this is essential to our economic recovery,” says Shaun Groden, Greene County Administrator. “With the results from this survey Greene County Government will have the tools we need to combat the broadband shortage in our community. The data will be used to partner with our service providers to assist in expanding service through matching-grants resulting from federal recovery funds.”
Residents without Internet access at home can and are encouraged to take the survey. Residents who do not have Internet at home, can take the survey at a connected location (such as a public library or a friend’s or neighbor’s) and enter in their home address, skip the speed test completely and answer the survey questions. The survey is also accessible via any mobile device.
Residents may also request paper copies of the survey by calling 518-719-3270 or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The survey can be accessed through GreeneGovernment.com until August 31st, 2021.