Results of broadband access survey to be released

·2 min read

Dec. 8—ROCKINGHAM — The Lumber River Council of Governments on Monday will present the results of its regional broadband study conducted via an online survey over the last several months. The study was aimed at improving broadband availability within a five-county region.

In June, Richmond, Scotland, Hoke, Robeson and Bladen County residents were encouraged to complete a confidential survey to collect data on broadband speeds that would be used to identify poor internet service areas. This data would be shown to funding agencies to show the need and hopefully secure the necessary funding to correct these gaps in access.

The presentation of the results will be open to the public and held at 2 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 13 at the Cole Auditorium on the Richmond Community College Campus, 1042 W. Hamlet Ave., Hamlet. The project's technical consultant, Jeff Brooks, with ECC Technologies, LLC, will present the results.

David Richardson, Executive Director of the LRCOG, stated that, "this session will provide an excellent opportunity for elected officials and the general public to learn about the status of broadband within the region and opportunities to improve that access."

Broadband is the ability to move information, or data, at a high rate from one source to another.

"High-speed broadband internet access is critical to the growth of the local economy in both community and business development," said Kendra Faries, Richmond County Public Health Educator, and Richmond County Information Technology Director Jimmy Quick said in a June joint statement.

A presentation from the LRCOG stated that broadband has become a necessity, and COVID-19 has only accelerated the need for remote home communications.

Individualized county presentations are being scheduled for Dec. 2021 and January 2022.

The study is being funded by a grant from the US Economic Development Administration. The LRCOG provides an array of programs and services to the member governments located within its region: Bladen, Hoke, Richmond, Robeson, and Scotland counties. It serves as an administrative and service delivery arm for federal, state, regional, and local programs of its member governments

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Reach Matthew Sasser at 910-817-2671 or [email protected]

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