County Commission to host broadband roundtable discussion

TAYLOR COUNTY— In an effort to help increase knowledge about areas of need in broadband in the county, the Taylor County Commission will be holding a roundtable discussion.

The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, September 13, at 1:00 p.m., at the Taylor County Public Library.

“We will be meeting with some organizations including the Taylor County Board of Education and Grafton City Hospital, along with some local business owners, law enforcement and other members of the community to discuss the need for broadband access,” shared Patricia Henderson, support staff for the commission.

She revealed that the meeting came together very quickly, but that the commission is hopeful that it will help address the needs of the community.

“We have even invited some people from out in the Flemington area and other areas to include members from all areas of the county,” Henderson noted.

In February, Taylor County was the recipient of a $125,000 CDBG Broadband Development Grant. The money from the grant is earmarked for updating the area’s 2013 Broadband Strategic Plan, according to Region VI Executive Director Sheena Hunt.

“The money will be used to help identify where broadband service is lacking. It will help us pinpoint areas that are underserved or not being served at all,” Hunt shared. “After that information is gathered, we can begin working to find solutions for those areas.”

In July, Hunt appeared before the commission to report that their Design 9 broadband contract came in at $36,700, an amount covered by the initial grant for the study.

As part of their investigation, the Taylor County Commission decided to host a meeting to gather information from various parties that would help them locate those underserved or unserved areas.

“Unfortunately, because of the limited space, the meeting is by invitation only, but concerned individuals can always reach out to the commissioners with concerns,” Henderson imparted.

The meeting is just a small part of the overall study. Once the results from the study are in, it will be up to the county to apply for the additional grant money needed to cover the cost of any updates or additions to the county’s broadband.