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Washington County announces today the launch of a new broadband coverage mapping campaign. The WASHCoNNECT initiative is aimed at encouraging residents and businesses to complete a new broadband coverage and reliability survey.
By surveying county residents, our goal is to detect current availability and speeds in Washington County and to identify “dead zones” where improvements are needed. Much of Washington County has limited or non-existent Internet coverage. Other residents have access, but often find that it is spotty or inadequate to meet simple education or business needs.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the lack of broadband access in the County. Greater access to broadband internet will improve flexibility and options for many, including residents, small businesses, and students with needs such as telehealth access, remote learning, and business promotion.
With coverage gaps and weaknesses identified, Washington County officials can better advocate for grants and funding that will improve service access and speeds. Understanding where these gaps in service exist is a critical first step.
The WASHCoNNECT survey initiative is part of a two-phase assessment.
ECC Technologies of Penfield, N.Y., working with Washington County is nearing completion of the first phase: an on-the-ground inventory to map broadband facilities in every community of the county, including existing fiber and coaxial cabling and tower sites.
This information will be combined with a survey designed to inform about availability and access to broadband. Residents and local businesses are encouraged to complete the quick survey as soon as possible.
For those who do not have access to the online or cellphone version, physical copies of the survey will be available in a select number of local stores, schools, libraries, and town halls. Respondents may also request assistance by calling the County Planning office at 518-746-2290 or by emailing [email protected]
The survey as well as more information can be accessed at washingtonbroadband.com. Respondents should be sure to enter their home or business address, as it will help the county to map where the greatest needs are. All information, including addresses and contact details, will be securely recorded and will not be released to any third party.