MEIGS COUNTY — Survey responses are still needed in an effort to study and ultimately improve broadband access to residents of Meigs and Vinton counties.
Three weeks after the initial meeting between representatives from both counties and Connect Ohio, approximately 550 surveys have been completed regarding access to broadband internet throughout the two counties, but more are still needed.
Of the surveys completed, 527 are residential surveys, with a nearly even split between Meigs and Vinton counties. There is a goal of having at least 700 residential surveys completed.
The vast majority of the surveys were completed in the first 10 days after the launch, according to Dan Manning, Community Technology Advisor for Connected Nation.
With at least 15 schools in the two counties (individual schools and districts), the goal is to have completed surveys from at least 10 of the schools. To date, there have been three completed school surveys — Meigs High School, Meigs Local School District and Vinton County’s West Elementary.
Additional responses are also needed from the areas of agriculture, business, public safety, economic development, higher education and libraries/community organizations, as well as individual residents.
The survey can be found at http://connectmycommunity.org/meigs-vinton .
As previously reported by the Sentinel, the Meigs-Vinton area was one of five selected across the state of Ohio to receive a comprehensive technology assessment and innovative project plan to enhance technology in the area.
Not only will the project look at access to high-speed internet, but also the adoption and use of internet by those in the area.
The first step in the process is the formation of the Community Broadband Team which works with Connect Ohio representatives on the assessment, action planning and implementation.
Among those involved in the meeting Wednesday were representatives from schools, libraries, first responders, economic development and service providers who are currently in the region or could expand into the region.
The next step is for the surveys to be completed over the next approximately 60 days.
After the surveys are completed, then the results will be analyzed to see what can and/or should be done in communities. A report is expected to be completed in May with a presentation of the action plan for the project.
Connect Ohio is a program of Connected Nation, the national leader in community technology planning and data analysis. Connected Nation has compiled strategic technology plans for communities in the U.S. for more than 10 years. This work evolved into what is known as the Connected program, a community technology assessment and planning tool. Connected has led more than 300 communities across seven states in the development of their own technology plans for enhanced success.