Broadband survey online

Published 1:46 pm Wednesday, February 20, 2019

In order to map the need for broadband in Cumberland County, county administration is holding a survey that is available online and on paper.

Vivian Seay Giles

In the survey, Cumberland residents describe the kind of internet connection that they have, they rate their home internet service, their business internet service if applicable, how much residents may would be willing to pay for faster internet service, and what sort of phone service they rely most on at home. Only one survey is required per household.

The online survey can be accessed here:

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Paper surveys can be returned to ballot boxes located throughout the county.

Participants at the Cumberland County Board of Supervisors meeting Feb. 12 were given a copy of the survey. Cumberland County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Amy Griffin and a few students distributed paper copies of the survey and brought laptops for residents to complete the survey online if they wanted.

Griffin said the school division is not involved with the broadband project, but she said she wanted to give students a way to take part in volunteer opportunities in the community.

County Administrator and Attorney Vivian Seay Giles said the surveys are central to identifying how many are in need of broadband and where.

“That’s the key,” Giles said. “The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) needs to map the county so that they can help us identify providers, and identify the gaps, the voids in the county.

Giles said if people have great broadband, no broadband, or something in between, the county would need as many participants as possible to provide the most accurate representation of broadband service in the county.

District Three Supervisor Kevin Ingle said greater broadband access is needed throughout the county for businesses and residential properties.

Ingle said that if he moved from his home to a house across the street, there is a chance that he “cannot carry my internet with me,” Ingle said. “I lose it. It goes to the next person in line.”

The survey is part of an initiative through the county and the CIT, a nonprofit corporation based in Herndon that, according to its website, “creates technology-based economic development strategies to accelerate innovation, imagination and the next generation of technology and technology companies.”

Cumberland County Board of Supervisors voted to partner with CIT during its August 2017 meeting. CIT would perform an evaluation of the county’s current broadband availability and the resources for increased broadband connection.

According to a past report, Powhatan, Amelia and Halifax counties have partnered with CIT. Mecklenburg, Nottoway and Brunswick counties’ boards of supervisors have approved plans to begin evaluations with CIT.

The survey will be available until March 23.