CLEARFIELD – Clearfield County will participate in a north central region broadband survey.
On Tuesday, the board of commissioners approved for the county’s participation in the survey through the North Central Pennsylvania Regional Planning & Development Commission.
IT Director Adam Curry said the commission wants to improve broadband coverage in the six counties it serves, which includes Clearfield County.
Through a brief online survey, he said the commission aims to determine which rural areas are most lacking broadband access.
Survey information will help the commission apply for and obtain state and federal grants to bring Internet access to these areas.
“Nowadays, with school districts, everything is going virtual,” Curry said. “A lot of areas lack Internet and a lot of students have to sit in parking lots to do their work.”
Curry said while the commission won’t be able to ensure broadband access to everyone in Clearfield County, it will be a starting point to identify areas that most need service that can be provided through the commission.
The survey will: ask your type of Internet service (Cable, DSL, Satellite Internet), test your Internet speeds, etc., and results will be published on a public GIS map on the county’s Web site.
“North Central – over the years – has done a very good job of providing Internet service to individuals as well as businesses,” Curry said.
He encouraged residents and business owners to complete the survey to help the commission obtain more grant funding.
“We can’t fix it if we don’t know what’s broken,” said Commissioner Dave Glass. “The key is actually the people doing this survey. There are monies out there.
“The COVID-19 situation has driven virtual and the importance of broadband infrastructure. This is our chance to show our need and drive real change.”
Curry said the commission provided the survey to school districts across its six-county region, and a number didn’t participate. “That’s very concerning to me.
“These students are virtual and have to travel to a central hot spot. It’s just wear and tear on the child, parents or babysitter. The survey is only five or six very generic questions.”
Click here to complete the North Central Broadband Survey.