County residents encouraged to complete broadband survey
March 14, 2019
The more local people who take a brief connectivity test, the more likely it is that Wyoming – and Crook County – will get a share of the pot when federal money comes available to improve broadband access in rural areas, said County Clerk Linda Fritz on Tuesday.
On behalf of the county commissioners, Fritz asked the Sundance City Council to help promote the broadband survey to citizens. There is a limited amount of time to gather the data before the grant money is released, she said.
“There is $10 million in grant money out there to help rural areas,” she said. “The more we can get people to do the survey, the more we can show a need for Crook County.”
The funding, according to Russ Elliott of the Wyoming Broadband Advisory Committee, is through the “Connect Fund”, which has been established specifically for rural areas to encourage partnerships between public institutions such as counties and the private enterprises that could furnish broadband in their area.
Fritz commented that the funding would certainly help more rural parts of the county and could also be of benefit to the more populated municipalities, which currently have better access access to broadband. Mayor Paul Brooks was less sure that the towns would benefit, saying that access in this county ranges “from super under-served to state of the art”.
“There are terribly under-served areas in the county, mostly on the east edge,” Brooks said, while, on the other hand, Range Communications is expecting to begin turning on fiber to people’s homes in and around Sundance later this month. However, he said, while the funding might not be all that useful to city dwellers, nobody wants to think of there being kids in Beulah or Aladdin not having internet to do their school work.
If internet service is available at your home, visit wyobbmap.org and complete a brief connectivity test as instructed. If internet service is not available, return the postcard you received from the county or send your name, address and a statement that broadband service is not available at your home and why to: Board of County Commissioners, Attn: Broadband Survey, PO Box 37, Sundance 82729.
The deadline for submitting your information is March 21.