Another week, another broadband survey.
This one comes from Greene County, which has launched a survey to identify where broadband service is available and where it isn’t. It’s neat, simple to answer and asks for a simple conclusion.
The Greene County New York Broadband Availability and Adoption Initiative is aimed at mapping the county and collecting data on where high-speed internet service is available. And, most important, where it is lacking.
The rules are simple, too. The survey seeks to identify where gaps remain. Respondents without internet can take the survey on a computer at a public library or other location or respond to the survey via a mobile device. Paper surveys can also be obtained by calling 518-719-3270 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The survey will be available through Aug. 31.
Respondents with internet can take the survey and a speed test to determine the speed of their existing service.
Residents and businesses are being asked to respond to the survey, which is tailored to respondents both with and without broadband access. The survey asks about access to high-speed internet, how the respondent uses the internet — or how they would like to use it.
County officials said the survey takes between five and 10 minutes to complete. That’s all there is to it.
Broadband access has long been a concern in rural areas, with limited or no availability in many areas. The COVID-19 pandemic and the shutdowns it produced shined a cold light on the need for broadband access as many students and workers began learning and working from home.
Day-to-day functions moved online during the pandemic and work in particular seems to be circling toward a hybrid of home and office. If that era is indeed dawning, we must do all we can to ensure coverage across our rural communities. High-speed internet access is now as essential as water and electricity for quality of life.
Devoting seven minutes to answer a survey about this important issue should not be too much to ask.