TAYLOR COUNTY—By now, many residents are aware that there are concerns with internet in some portions of Taylor County, and three organizations have teamed up to help address the issues.
Last month, the Taylor County Commission and the Region VI Planning and Development Council (PDC) held a roundtable discussion with Jack Maytum, a Senior Business Analyst from Design Nine, the organization that is helping to spearhead the newest campaign to update the 2013 Broadband Strategic Plan.
“Jack is the consultant that Taylor County hired with the approval of the other five counties in the region, to lead the charge on the broadband update,” Region VI Executive Director Sheena Hunt noted. “He is here to gather some information about what is here and what is needed, as well as input from some local residents.”
At the meeting, it was decided that their broadband study would include gathering information to help the groups learn where the areas of most need were throughout the county, in terms of internet access.
Maytum shared that the organizations would also need to learn what broadband assets were already in existence that could be utilized.
“That would include towers for wireless communications and any fiber infrastructure that already exists,” he explained.
As part of the study, broadband surveys were drafted for both residential and business users. The surveys will help gage the need for broadband and internet access throughout the county.
The Region VI PDC, along with the Taylor, Doddridge, Harrison, Marion, Monongalia and Preston County Commissions, is conducting the survey.
“The results will help all six counties determine where the need is the greatest and help guide us on how to ensure that all citizens and businesses have affordable and adequate access to broadband services,” explained Rosemary Raschella, Planning Coordinator with the Region VI PDC
Individuals will have two options for filling out the surveys. They may be completed online, or residents may fill out a hard copy and return it.
To access the residential survey, please log on to http://projects.designnine.com/survey/r6-broadband-survey. Business users may log on to http://projects.designnine.com/survey/r6-business-broadband-survey to complete their questionnaire.
“Take the survey online in less than five minutes,” shared Raschella. “It’s simple and easy. We really need your response!”
A hard copy of the will be inserted into the Wednesday, October 24 edition of the Mountain Statesman.
Once the survey has been completed, they may be returned to the PDC at Region VI Planning & Development Council, 34 Mountain Park Drive, White Hall, WV 26554.
All surveys will need to be completed by November 5.
“We just want to thank everyone for their participation in these surveys,” Raschella expressed.
In addition, the next Regional Broadband Needs Assessment Plan meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday, October 24. The meeting will begin at 2:00 p.m., and will take place at the Taylor County Public Library, located at 200 Beech Street, Grafton.
During the meeting, residents and guests will be able to hear from Design Nine’s Maytum about the broadband issue in Taylor County.
The event is open to the public, and residents are encouraged to attend to learn the next steps in the process of securing broadband and internet access throughout the county.
“What residents need to understand is that this process is going to take time. It isn’t going to happen overnight,” Maytum voiced. “There are multiple steps that have to be completed and it could take up to 10 years to build up the broadband service throughout the county.”