Crawford County Commissioners Continue Collecting Broadband Surveys
The Crawford County Commissioners are starting to pinpoint areas throughout the county that are in need of better broadband.
Over the past month, the commissioners have distributed nearly 10,000 surveys throughout the county.
The five-question survey asks where you live, how good is your internet quality, and how much you're willing to pay for high-speed internet.
According to Crawford County Commissioner Eric Henry, nearly 1,500 surveys have been returned.
"I think if we polled our citizens, the people would agree, this is the number one issue they come across," said Henry. "Based on social media comments and posts, you can tell you get a quick response. People want better internet."
Based on the information collected so far, the commissioners have determined that the northern tier of Crawford County has little to no internet service.
"We're realizing the northern tier of Crawford County is an area I'd refer to as a hot spot for no internet, specifically Bloomfield Township, Spartansburg, all the way over to Cambridge Springs," said Crawford County Director of Planning Zachary Norwood.
"Broadband internet is essentially the equivalent of getting electricity in rural America, and so for us to be competitive in the 21st century, to attract businesses, and to attract population to Crawford County, and northwestern PA, we have to take a stance of tyring to get this."
The commissioners have pledged $3 million from the county's portion of American Rescue Plan funds to improve broadband throughout Crawford County.
Once the commissioners collect more feedback, they will target the areas that need broadband the most.
"It's really critical for us to have good information," said Norwood. "The state and the federal government are working on programs to get funding out to local governments and providers to deploy broadband, and if we don't have accurate information to work off of, we won't be competitive in the process of achieving those funds."
The commissioners hope to have final results from the survey by the end of the summer.