“It’s one of the most proactive steps Macon County residents can take to get better broadband service in their homes.”
Becca Scott, Director of Community and Economic Development at the Southwestern Commission, is referring to the NC Broadband survey, a state-wide survey designed to gather information on locations without adequate internet access and speeds in the state. Households and businesses can provide information about their current internet speeds or a lack of internet service, which will help NC Broadband Infrastructure Office determine what areas are eligible for grant funding.
“One major goal of the Southwestern Commission is to help communities in our region get quality internet service,” said Russ Harris, Executive Director of the Southwestern Commission. “This is one survey that goes straight to the funder.”
While many North Carolina internet access maps show broad, general areas with service, this survey is more specific. “We hear all of the time how someone’s neighbor has great internet, while just down the road they can’t get any service, yet the map will show full coverage,” said Harris. “In just five minutes, residents can tell the state exactly where they live and the service they have, and the funders can see in real-time where the holes in coverage are.”
“For years, broadband has emerged as the top priority in our county and region,” said Derek Roland, Macon County Manager. “Surveys such as these, which identify unserved and underserved areas, are the best tool we have when making a case for broadband funding.”
While the survey is always available, Macon County residents are urged to complete it during February for an upcoming grant cycle.
The five-minute survey is available online in English or Spanish. To take the survey, click here.Residents without internet service but with phones capable of text messaging can text “internet” to 919-750-0553. Standard text messaging rates will apply. Residents with landlines or cellphones that do not have texting capability may place a voice call to 919-750-0553.